Measuring up for a HOTBIN
If you are looking at buying a HOTBIN composter and you want to see if it will squeeze in a corner this post is for you!
The HOTBIN is about the size of a standard 250 litre (black/blue/brown/green) wheelie bin.
- Outer: 550 width x 625 depth x 1145 height mm (wheelie bin size)
- Base: 450 x 450 mm (unit tapers to base)
If you are measuring it to check it will fit into a gap, you need to give yourself room to lift the lid right up to a position where it will stay up whilst emptying out your caddy, this is in fact one of it’s USPs according to some customers!
It needs 750 mm depth to allow the lid to fully open – see photo
With the lid open, it needs 1600 mm height.
BBC Gardeners’ World LIve
The HOTBIN team is packed and ready to head off to the 2013 BBC Gardener’s World Live show at the NEC Birmingham between 12-16 June 2013. You will find us on stand EV12 which is part of The Eco Village.
If you haven’t already the easy way to navigate around the show is using The Gardeners’ World Live app. This allows you to access the latest theatre timetables, the show floorplan, current exhibitor list and many other exciting features from your fingertips, whether you’re in the comfort of your home or wandering round the show itself!
If you visit our stand you could win a HOTBIN – there is one winning ticket each day of the show in our lucky dip. Plus if you buy a HOTBIN on the day there is a very special show price of £124.99 saving you £25.
It would be great to see you there!
Wriggly Worms in the HOTBIN
Everything you need to know about worms in your HOTBIN!
I have Worms in my HOTBIN, is this OK?
Yes. If you have worms in your HOTBIN there is no need to worry, equally if you have none there is no need to worry.
Worms are not needed in the HOTBIN – the waste will still decompose because bacteria do most of the decomposition. Worms are good – they decompose waste and leave a rich “vermicompost” behind. This worms also deposit a mucus around the gut digestate which some studies show is beneficial to soil fertility.
How do worms get in the HOTBIN – it has a sealed base?
Worm egg casts are often found small pieces of soil or old compost. Worms are often attached to leaf mould. Often the worms and eggs are added to the HOTBIN when the first base layer is set up.
How do they survive the high temperatures?
The HOTBIN quickly settles in temperature zones – hot top, warm middle, cool base (see graph here). Worms and egg casts will not survive above about 35C, but they will often survive in the base layer.
I have opened my HOTBIN in spring and the base layer is full of worms?
This is just a natural population increase from a few eggs. Normally in winter the soil temperature falls below 5C and worms stop reproducing. In the HOTBIN, even the base layer stays at around 10C and there is lots of food. The worms just keep multiplying, so in spring there can be lots of them in the base. It is also very common to have none!
I have worms crawling up the walls and all over the lid – why?
This can happen shortly after set up, when old compost and new waste has been added. The heat quickly builds up. Worms do not tolerate heat above 40C so they look for a way out. Often they will burrow down to the base, but because the heat rises in the HOTBIN they will often move to the side wall and then climb up. Once at the lid they are stuck. There are several things you can do: collect them up and move them into the base (just take the door off and pop then in the bottom), put them onto your soil (cover them over or the birds will have them, depending on you personal views – feed them to the birds, or leave they to fry (due to heat) and let the bacteria turn them back into compost.
I have white tiny thread like worms all over the lid and/or door – what are they?
These are pot worms (enchytraeids) and resemble a piece of white sewing thread a few millimetres long. They occur quite naturally and part of composting process – they do the same job as the tiger worms. They thrive at a lower temperatures and more acidic pH conditions. They also do not tolerate the heat, so you can get a mass exodus.. This tends to happen if you have emptied and anaerobic wet bin, remixed it all and it then starts to heat up. Just wipe them up with a paper kitchen towel and place on top of hot waste – they will be compost within hours.
Sieving Compost From HOTBIN Composter
The best & most cost effective way to sieve your HOTBIN compost!
There are plenty of options available to sieve compost, some better than others. Here at HOTBIN composting we have certainly tried a few, as you can see from our previous post. It might be worthwhile mentioning that how compost looks and feels can vary a lot. Take a look at the post which talks about how HOTBIN compost will look . Remember you are recycling a variety of organic matter to great something wonderful for your garden!
To make an effective sieve for next to nothing
What you need is:
Some squirrel wire (that’s the 1 cm x 1 cm mesh) and a wheel barrow
How it works:
Simply place the mesh over wheel barrow and then just tip a bucket on top and brush/rake it a few times
How do we rate it:
As long as the compost is reasonably dry it works a treat. In fact, for £6.00 for the wire (get it places like Yorkshire trading, garden centres) and using an old wheel barrow I already had, I’d say it has become the HOTBIN favourite method!
Set Up: (slight delay on this occasion due to visit from feathered friend!)
The bits that are left:
How your HOTBIN compost will look afterwards:
COMPOST WEEK 2013 – WIN A HOTBIN
Compost – Nature’s Way to Grow!
International Compost Awareness Week this year is between 6th and 12th May 2013. There is a full week of activities, events and publicity to improve awareness about using organic waste as a resource to produce compost. Check out what the www.gardenorganic.org.uk Master Composters are up to near you. Composting creates that black matter which makes your garden greener and the HOTBIN team is passionate about the stuff!
The aim of this week is to encourage gardeners to improve their garden with rich, nutritious compost. Raising awareness for composting has never been more important than it is now with soil degradation increasingly becoming a worldwide problem. However you can be part of the solution to turn this trend around by simply composting! Composting will give you that good feeling that you are doing a small part for the environment – Saving landfill space and creating only CO2 instead of the more harmful methane. Composting not only reduces the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of, but also converts it into a useful product for your garden – Wow a big double whammy!
One HOTBIN user described his experience of HOTBIN composting as “quickly converting waste into good stuff for the garden whilst taking me a step further towards the good life.” Making and using compost is described as the cornerstone of organic gardening so if you want to ‘Grow Your Own’, there’s no better place to start!
Using compost is the easiest way to make your garden grow more beautiful! Compost on your flowerbeds greatly improves soil quality by helping it retain moisture and improving tilth. It also reduces the need to use chemical fertilizers as it holds onto plant nutrients and releases them slowly to the plant roots. Compost is a complete and natural way to improve your soil.
The HOTBIN was specifically designed to help maximize what nature does naturally by bringing together the right conditions to make HOT composting easy. It works as you can actively achieve temperatures between 40 -60C. The higher temperatures along with the effective aeration allow the HOTBIN to effortlessly reduce and recycle a wide variety of food and garden waste into great compost all year round.
Why is HOTBIN composting different?
Well most importantly the HOTBIN is insulated and controls airflow so it can compost fast which means you can add ALL food waste. And by this we mean; left over meals, plate scrapings, meat, fish, small bones and things like pasta, mouldy bread and cakes.
This is a huge benefit as 65% of food waste items are traditionally NOT added to a cold composting bin. Using a HOTBIN increases significantly your diversion of food waste from landfill. But be advised you do need a special food waste compost bin like the HOTBIN to handle all food waste.
So what are you waiting for… home composting benefits your garden and your environment and it’s easy!
TOP 4 Compost Bins? Grow Your own List HOTBIN
HOTBIN composter is listed in the top four composting bins in this weeks Grow Your Own Magazine.
You might want to take a look at out post on tumblers plus our post comparing HOT v COLD composting along with our HOTBIN reviews.
HOT TOPIC – TEA BAGS!
Can I compost tea bags? There is something about this composting question – it keeps coming back – it was on the Radio’s 2 Simon Mayo Drivetime today. Here is an answer that deserves reading our a cup of tea!
You may remember the HOTBIN composter featured on Simon’s Drivetime innovation slot back in February last year.
Toby Buckland (BBC gardening expert) gave Simon a quick summary of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ composting.
We were interested to hear Toby Buckland noted that some tea bags do not degrade because they have plastic fibres in so you should go for the more ‘expensive’ paper ones with strings.
HOTBIN composting checked composting out tea bags sometime ago. After checking several manufactuirng sites, we found most of the fibre used is paper. Some manufacturers add a small amount of polypropylene fibre to make the bags stronger and allow them to create a heat seal after the bag has been filled. This appears to be a minuscule amount of PP fibre.
In cold composting the bags tend to present in the final compost. In the HOTBIN composter and hot composting they are degraded fast and usually completely within 3 months. Occasionally a bag will need to go through again – more so with the pyramid bags!
In summary – the tea leaf and paper is composted, the inert PP fibres remain but are invisible within the compost and do not affect the soil.
The Guardian did a feature on this three years ago – A report published a few days ago by Which? Gardening reveals that teabags produced by top tea manufacturers such as Tetley, PG Tips, Twinnings, Clipper and Typhoo are only between 70-80% biodegradable. As a result, gardeners are finding the net part of teabags – caused by the inclusion of heat-resistant polypropylene – left on their compost heaps.
Which? Gardening contacted the major tea manufacturers to check the content of their products. PG Tips responded: “‘Like most of the teabags in the UK, our teabags are made with about 80% paper fibre, which is fully compostable along with the tea leaves contained in the bag. The remaining packaging includes a small amount of plastic which is not fully biodegradable.”
GREEN HEROES SHORTLISTED
HOTBIN IS SHORTLISTED AS A GREEN HERO in the Lloyds TSB People and Environment Business Awards (PEABs) 2013
After much deliberation, the final shortlist of nominees for The 2013 People and Environment Awards for Business (PEABs) has now been revealed.
With final winners to be announced and honoured at the Awards Ceremony on 7 May, the PEABs celebrate how green initiatives can be good for business as well as the planet; showcasing excellence and innovation from individuals or teams who have contributed to the “greening” of UK businesses.
The Awards will be announced and presented by a diverse and highly experienced panel of judges, chaired by Leo Johnson a Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers Sustainability and Climate Change team, who said: “The PEA Business Awards is about individuals and businesses armed with the intent to do things differently. We have a truly inspiring set of winners.”
Karen Cook, Senior Manager Sustainable Development and Community Enterprise, Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, also on the judging panel, said: “We are delighted with the diverse range of shortlisted nominees, ranging from SMEs to large Corporates. Supporting the PEABs clearly demonstrates our commitment to help UK businesses drive innovation and lead the way in adopting sustainable business practices.”
The PEA Business Awards 2013 ceremony will take place at One Marylebone, London on 7th May 2013.
The nominated shortlist is as follows:
Banking and Finance
Kickstarter UK Team / Indiegogo UK Team / Helen Tandy, Gaeia
Building and Construction
M&S Team / Co-Op Team / Green Mountain Team
Chief Executive Officer of the Year – Sponsored by Good Energy
Kate Craig Wood, Memset / Paul Buzby, Viezu
Community Interest Company
Howard Carter, incognito / Steve Gannon, Socialalertme CIC / Tim Barford, Veg Fest
Corporate Social Responsibility – Sponsored by John Lewis Partnership
Ali Sheikh, Barr Construction / Patagonia Team
Food and Drink
Patrick Tolhurst – Well Seasoned Ltd / Diagio Scottish Distillery Team
Green Shoots Enterprise
Marie Jones, The Office Your Office Ltd / Ry Morgan, Please Cycle / Danny Neville, Universal Web Design
Marketing and Public Relations – Sponsored by GREEN magazine
Jonathan Petty, Patagonia Marketing Team / Stephen Scown Solicitors / Camfil Team
Tony Callaghan, HOTBIN / Co-Op Team / Kirt Williams, Junky Styling
Social Enterprise – Sponsored by National Enterprise Network
Karen Lynch – Belu / Jutexpo / Lisa Wilson, Eventful Bread
Supply Chain – Sponsored by Rewarding Recycling
Cred Team / Patagonia Team
Adam Fox Edwards, Arundel Arms / Matthias Leisinger, Kuoni Team
Transport – Sponsored by Energy Saving Trust
Cedric Martindale CPK Railways Team / Ry Morgan, Please Cycle / Paul Buzby, Viezu
There will also be a special Award for the PEAB Champion to be announced on the night, for the individual or team who, in the opinion of the judging panel, has come top overall.
The Earth IQ Test
Test your knowledge of what will make a difference!
Earth Day is on April 22, 2013. It’s a great time to learn about our planet and how to take care of it!
Click the image below to take your test.
HOTBIN IN THE TELEGRAPH
The HOTBIN was in The Telegraph this Saturday and you can read it on-line too.