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After emptying the bin /removing compost

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  • After emptying the bin /removing compost

    I can find plenty of advice on how to remove composted material, but nothing about what to do next. We inherited a hotbin from previous residents of our house, and we seem to now have the hang of keeping it hot and have a had couple of nice batches of compost. When we remove the compost from the bottom, it gets much cooler in the bin. Is this because of too much empty space at the bottom and top? Should we be actively pushing the still-composting waste down to fill the space below - and should we be trying to fill the space at the top quickly? We've been using ripped up corrugated cardboard as bulking agent and it works really well (especially as our compost is so wet) so would it work to just put more of this in with a smaller proportion of good waste? Or finding some fresh grass cuttings? How long does it usually take to get up to operating temperatures again?

  • #2
    You can lose a lot of heat from the hotbin if 1. you take too much material out at once (the wet stodgy stuff at the bottom does hold quite a bit of heat) 2. you take a long time to take it out (especially in the colder weather). 3. the heat drops significantly if you add a large amount of fresh cold material in one go. It's all a bit of a balancing act. I tend to find if I only empty a small amount at a time the temperature can increase as removing material often allows more airflow.

    How are you measuring your temperature? If you are using the embedded thermometer at the top It's worth noting that it's only really accurate when the compost bin is almost completely full and the actual temperature can be as much as 15 degrees C higher than what it registers.