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Does straw coated with pine oil work?

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  • Does straw coated with pine oil work?

    We have access to straw from a chicken coop, which has an anti-bacterial coating of pine oil on it (to reduce bird infections). Would this work as a bulking agent? Or would the ant-bacterial coating work against the normal composting processes?

  • #2
    Hi there Curly Cale,

    Thanks for your question.

    Straw (with or without the anti-bacterial coating), due to its relatively flat structure when compressed within the unit would unfortunately not work as a substitute for bulking agent as it cannot create air pockets within the waste which are needed to help keep the HOTBIN working aerobically. A bulking agent needs to be a material such as a wood chip, bark or chopped or shredded garden prunings which offers a more rigid structure within the unit but will still decompose.

    With regards to your question on whether the pine oil coated straw would work against the normal composting process, we are unfortunately not able to confirm this either way as we have not trialled this ourselves. We would however recommend looking at the original packaging for the straw to see if it described as being bio-degradable. If it is, you should not have any problems adding the straw into the HOTBIN, however we would recommend adding it in small amounts and mixing it well with other waste types, bulking agent and shredded paper once the HOTBIN is above 40°C.

    We hope this helps.