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Any tips for emptying the Hotbin?

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  • #16
    I've had my HB for 2 years and am very pleased with it - my wife would say "obsessed"! Emptying is the biggest problem and my technique has been to lay it on its side. However when I stood it back up this morning so the top half of the compost could drop down the bin split into 2 parts top to bottom! I think it's repairable with the right glue but I don't think it's designed to be moved regularly. To empty in future I'll have to leave it in situ and use one of the other creative solutions than have been suggested.

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    • #17
      I have recently emptied my HotBin for the first time (really good mulching-type compost, VERY happy with that result) but I only dug out the middle, all the way to the back and left the very base layer and both sides in place. I expected the top layers to collapse into the base (it sort of started to collapse as I was emptying it, which is why I stopped when I did) but it hasn't, really. Short of trying sjmawson's impressive idea (which I would, if I wasn't only 5'2" and in my 60's), should I push the un-composted layers down from the top (as seems to me that would destroy the hot core)? I would be grateful for any advice.

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      • #18
        I emptied my hotbin the difficult way a few times before coming up with an idea. I didn't like the sound of it breaking when turning on side, and in its current position against a wall in between the bins, there is not really enough room to do it without manhandling it out.

        I had tried to support with bits of timber, but found it very problematic to keep supporting while digging, I therefore emptied the whole thing out and built a frame (using some spare 2x2 and OSB board (9mm) for the sides) that would go in the bottom and provide support for pieces of plywood (9mm) slotted in above. I've now emptied it twice using this method and while it is not perfect, the positives are:
        • I do get everything out easily from underneath without the top stuff falling down.
        • Plenty of time to clean out the base-plate with hose if needed without having to empty it
        • Less dry spots and less compaction than before
        • less aeration challenges than before
        The downsides as I see it are:
        • Timber frame takes up space in the hotbin so fills up quicker
        • The timber at the top of the frame provides support even once the ply is removed, so needs agitation to get the material to fall down
        • This agitation results in some mixing of the top layers
        I think if hotbin could create a slimline plastic accessory that does the same job, it would be brilliant and would substantially reduce the downsides of this approach. If anyone would like to copy, I've attached some photos.

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