Hello, I've been composting for donkey's years with some success but have progressively found that too many garden weeds appear to originate from my tendency to try to compost too many undesirable plants and seeds. I had a bright idea in 2009 after a loft conversion project left some large rectangles of thick insulation, I would build a new compost heap container from it to ensure it kept hotter and all the heap got hot. It did work, put patchily, then fell apart after only a couple of years. I reverted to normal composting with a two-year three heap rotation that worked well but nothing like as well as I would have liked. I had lots of garden waste that ould be good for the soil but it just would not compost well. So I was interested to see the Hotbin advertised a few years back but was always put off by the price.

Finally, this year, I decided to buy as it seemed like this was a piece of kit that would produce good quality compost, produce more of it, kill off all the seeds, weeds and diseases, process most green and brown rubbish and, I was surprised to see, process food waste as well. I have a medium sized garden with a modest lawn, lots of shrubs and an annual leaf fall blowing in from the neighbouring park. We are just two generating a couple of caddies of vegetable waste a week.

After I ordered the 200 litre Mk 2 I decided I did not want to be reliant on buying wood chips so conserved all the autumn cuttings to use instead. I always mow the leaves with the grass at this time of year so hoped that would be green enough to work, if it is not I'll store the leaves and use as a bulking agent over the summer.

So when the Hotbin arrived I was ready to go in theory. As it January it was to be a stiff test!