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I'm doing something wrong

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  • I'm doing something wrong

    I'm not even sure if anyone is reading these forums anymore, but I will post this and hope someone will see it and help with some advice.

    Thursday 3rd May - I started my HOTBIN following the instructions very carefully. I then left it alone to get going, as per the set up instructions.

    Saturday 5th May - I added about a caddy,'s worth of bread, potatoes and mushrooms, mixed with shredded paper and chipped branches for bulking agent. When I opened the lid, I was greeted with steam and an internal temperature of about 55°C.

    Monday 7th May - I fed it with a mixture of cut flowers and banana peel all mixed with shredded paper and chipped branches for bulking agent.
    Later on the Monday I then added quite a lot (maybe about 2 hoppers worth) of grass clippings which was also mixed with shredded paper and chipped branches for bulking agent. Unfortunately I don't recall what the inside temperature was reading at this point.

    Thursday 10th May - I fed another batch of grass (left over from Monday's mowing) mixed with shredded paper and chipped branches for bulking agent.

    Saturday 12th May - Another caddy of kitchen waste mixed with shredded paper and chipped branches for bulking agent. By now I'm fairly sure the temperature had dropped and I wasn't getting steam when I opened the lid.

    14 - 20 May - I can't remember what I added, but it will have been along the same lines as detailed above.

    Tuesday 22nd May - I added a mixture of kitchen scraps and old grass clippings with the usual mix of shredded paper and chipped branches for bulking agent.

    Friday 25th May - Today I took the front hatch off to see what was going on because the inside just wasn't getting up to temperature, it has been hovering at about the mid 30's for a while now with no steam and the contents weren't reducing as I was expecting it to.
    The photos below were all taken today.

  • #2
    Hello! I still read the forums, not for a while though! I have had my bin for about 18 months now - and I have had little success. The only time I've managed to achieve the desired temperature was during our lovely hot summer. I emptied it a couple of months ago, the result was not too impressive, despite the heat. Since them, I've not been able to get the temperature up at all, despite following all the instructions. I sometimes think my bin must be mainly shredded paper, cardboard, bulking agent and chicken pellets! Its certainly not as easy as its made out to be! If you find anything that works, I'd appreciate the tips! Cheers,


    • #3
      Hi did you ever get to the bottom of the problem? Could it be that it was too dry? I got my hotbin up to a good temp on the initial hot start, but it has unfortunately dropped since then. I have been adding an equal volume of shredded paper to waste, then bulking agent at 1/5 volume of waste (which I think is right). IT was only when I watched some of the videos that I relaised I had misinterpreted the instructions that came with the bin. They say its easier to fix too dry than too wet, but I've no idea how to work what volume of waste and bulking agent I need to add to what is there to overcome the "dry" problem.


      • #4
        Hi all, I got my bin January 2019, followed the instructions and had my bin cooking at 70 c then it fell , I re started with the hot water bottle and all was well but I don't have enough greens at the moment to keep it going,my solution was and is I knew a place where I could get nettles in abundance and that got me up and running super hot,however it cooled and on checking at the hatch the compost was wetter than I hoped,I believe I did not have the steam valve open enough to allow more steam out and it just condensed and ran to the bottom,I am just starting a reheat with bottle and see how it goes,to the original poster it may be when you added the grass in volume it kinda choked the air flow through the bin,maybe not enough card board as the grass would hold a lot of water,these thing definitely work just takes a bit of practise I suppose,happy composting I'm in freezing Scotland.


        • #5
          Hello! This is my first post, and it's a cry for help! I bought my first ever Hotbin back in July. I've followed the instruction manual and other advice carefully, and tried to keep to the recommended ratios of food waste, paper/card and bulking agent but over the last 3 months my bin's temperature has never hit more than 60 c. It's a bit dispiriting, and reading other people's comments I'm not the only one. Should I empty the bin as some people have done and start all over again? Any advice / questions would be gratefully received.


          • #6
            Im with you Derek- started August and just removed first lot which wasnt usable. Temperature regularly at around 60 and prior to emptying had dropped to 2o/30. Thought probably because almost full. Unable to get temperature up again and have used bottle. Dispiriting but i had heard first harvest can be like that but frustrated at not getting temperature to rise again. dont want to give up as got bin due to council ceasing food collections.