Can Winter composting equal Spring compost?
We asked a number of new users to start HOTBIN composting in December.
This was a massive challenge – new users, new product and freezing winter – were we crackers?
Well as it happens no, a bit crazy but not totally bonkers! We had good reason to believe it would work, and we are pleased to say the majority of users got the HotBins hot composting between 40-60C and ran them over winter hot**.
Well it’s Spring now and we are eager to find out what the compost is like?
We will add more photo’s as they come in over the next few weeks. For now here’s what we have and what you can expect:
A – HotBin Compost after 120 days
B – Taking it Out
C – Sieved
The woodchip we supply is graded into different sizes – about 75% will compost down, but the larger lumps end up ‘coated’ in humus. Some will sieve, others will just use it ‘as it comes’.
D – Some 90 day samples
E – Too wet
Here’s one that got to wet! You need to quickly add cardboard and bulking agent (wood chip) and give it a really good rake. If available add a box of grass – give it another 1-2 months.
F – Obsessive quality composter!
The bin was half full of good compost. However it still had quite a few large bits of plant stalks. A large box of grass mowing was tipped in and mixed. This will start hot composting again to 60. A lot of the large stalks will be re-composted down within a month.
G – HOTBIN used in batch mode
This HotBin was filled in one go to the very top during the late autumn garden clear up. It got hot and was then rested over winter. It’s a different take on the weekly addition of food waste – but you get a great big load of compost in one go.
H – HOTBIN – chicken Bones
This batch had 2 roast chicken carcass, 1 duck carcass and a few spare ribs. Most of the bones were completely composted. These here may look ‘whole’, but they are brittle, soft and crumble when rubbed. Soon after this test, we started to cut the thigh bones in half with secuters – this increases speed by double and they go even faster.
As you can see the HOTBIN can be used in different ways to achieve your different composting objectives.
(**We acknowledge a few users did not achieve the goal – for those who like the numbers, only 5% reported a problem and to date have not hot composted. We have identified most issues as valve setup, not enough waste or too little easy to digest waste each week to keep the process going. We are working with each of them to ensure they Hot compost over the coming weeks)