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Internal temperature only about 45°

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  • Internal temperature only about 45°

    Hi, I bought my hot bin about 3 weeks ago and after adding a base layer just above the level of the hatch within 2 days the internal temp was hitting a good 60°. Since then when adding more waste it doesn't seem to get above 40ish. I'm not sure if the second lot of waste had enough bulk but since then i've made sure there is plenty and plenty of paper. generally the waste is grass cuttings with lots of shredded paper, kitchen bits (mainly fruit, veg and tea bags) plus some shredded garden bits or bits from dead heading and wood chips for bulking. I'm not sure if I'm adding too much waste - adding every couple of days and not all grass cuttings at once as I think it could be too much. Bin is now about 3/4 full. Any suggestions to get the temperature higher? Thanks

  • #2
    Are you adding some bulking agent and shredded paper each time you add new material into your HOTBIN? If so, roughly how much of each are you adding in relation to the volume of waste?


    • #3
      Hi, i'm now adding about same amount of shredded paper as the amount of grass cuttings and kitchen waste and several good handfuls of the bark supplied with the compost. Also some of the garden waste I have shredded still has quite a lot of twiggy bits so i felt that was also adding bulk. But i may not have added enough shredded paper with my second lot of grass cuttings in the first week I had the bin and that is when it went from at great 60° to only about 45.


      • #4
        Hi, I have just sent an email to your help address with 4 photos attached as requested.
        Many thanks


        • #5
          I have been using the hot bin for just about 2 months and having had a good steqdybinternal temperature for a while now it suddenly dropped, so I thought I'd open up and see what the compost looked like. (I did turn the bottom 30cm after the first 30 days as recommended by you). the bits at the bottom were quite good mulch looking and reasonably moist, but then there were a few inches of very dry and still white/grey matter, then some moist bits again. I assume that some waste that I added was just too dry. I took this out and mixed again with some fresh grass cuttings.

          So a couple of points/ questions. Sometimes my grass has a lot of fallen leaves so when i'm cutting the leaves mix up with the grass, this makes it a lot drier so do i not need to add as much shredded paper?

          I have been shredding other garden matter including perennials, so this quite woody and also quite dry. I tend to add a few handfuls to grass and kitchen waste each time, but this might also be making it too dry.

          With winter coming on and grass cutting reducing I worry that I won't have enough "wet" waste during winter and still a lot of shredded garden waste to use up which is very dry - should I moisten this at all.

          The shredded garden wast is quite woody somehow this be sufficient to add the required bulk or do I still need to add bark chipping?

          Other than that my first compost i took out (about 30 -40 cm) made some quite good mulch which is happily spread around some of my flower beds.

          Look forward to hearing some advice


          • #6
            Hi Anne,

            Ordinarily speaking, the addition of leaves within grass cuttings and quite dry shredded garden waste should not have much of an effect upon the internal moisture content of your HOTBIN especially if you are adding materials with a high moisture content such as grass cuttings and kitchen waste as the combination of waste types should balance out the moisture content.

            It may however be worth keeping an eye on the visible moisture levels at the top of your HOTBIN if you do suspect it is looking a little too dry though over a couple of weeks. The contents of the HOTBIN should look moist but not overly wet.

            Should the contents look overly dry after a couple of good feeds, you could reduce the amount of shredded paper being added very slightly (by the equivalent of a handful) and see how the moisture content of your HOTBIN changes over the next couple of days (unfortunately this bit is a little more trial and error as every HOTBIN differs depending on the exact types and quantities of waste being added).

            If your HOTBIN starts to look overly moist having reduced the amount of paper being added, we would recommend increasing the volume of shredded paper being added to ensure that the contents of your HOTBIN do not get too wet. Please note that it is much easier to rectify a HOTBIN which is too dry than one which is too wet.

            You mention that your shredded garden waste is quite woody and dry; what types of garden waste are you adding? Would you be able to take a photograph of the woody garden waste and we can see if it could be successfully used as a form of bulking agent for you going forward? To date, have you been adding this into the HOTBIN in addition to bulking agent or instead of bulking agent?

            We look forward to hearing from you.

            The HOTBIN Team.


            • #7
              Thanks for this, i've just sent 2 pictures to the email address.

              The garden waste is generally made up of the perennial plants after they have flowered, shrub cuttings, hedge trimmings, rose stems. Sometimes I have waited for a few days before actually shredding so they may have dried further and then keep themmin bags and add a couple of handfulls each time i'm adding grass and kitchen waste.

              If the internal temp is up to 60s then generally there is quite a bit of condensation on the lid of the bin when I open it. if temperature is only 45ish then not so much.

              I just wonder how I might have enough grass/kitchen (ie wet waste) over winter to keepmfeeding my bin.



              • #8
                Hi Anne,

                Thanks for your reply and for sending us over some photographs. They have been very helpful.

                The shredded garden material you are referring to does look really dry in the photographs. Consequently, you could either try adding a smaller quantity into the HOTBIN along with your other, slightly more moist garden and kitchen waste each time or reduce the amount of shredded paper being added with each HOTBIN feed as we mention in the post above, As a word of caution, we would recommend keeping a close eye on the internal moisture content of your HOTBIN and if it starts to look overly wet, add some more shredded paper in and give it a gently mix in with the material at the top to help rebalance the internal moisture content.

                We would suggest that you continue to add the shredded garden waste into your HOTBIN in addition to some bulking agent as the structure of some of the shredded garden waste being added is quite flat and so when new waste is added on top of it, it will likely be unable to sustain any air pockets for the oxygenated air to flow through.

                With regards to your observations on the condensation, please be assured that this is normal. Any condensation that does drop into the HOTBIN should be evaporated due to the HOTBIN's internal temperature and leave the HOTBIN unit through the aeration valve as water vapour.

                Can we ask:

                What types of wet kitchen waste are you adding?

                Roughly what quantity is being added on each occasion?

                We look forward to hearing from you.

                The HOTBIN Team


                • #9
                  Wet kitchen waste is usually fruit peelings, Apple cores, tea bags, vegetable peelings/salad bits. I'm single so only have small quantities but use it every 3 days in the bin. it would be only about 5% compared to grass cutting volume.

                  I'll continue to add bulking agent as suggested and try and balance the amount of shredded paper with my dry garden waste.