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HOTBIN composting on an allotment

The HOTBIN was developed to compost all food, garden and grass in the home and garden.

We want to know how it works on an allotment; so this week we’ve enlisted the help of Gil and Steve at their Jesmond West Allotment, and Karin at the Morpeth East Green Allotment to help us test the HotBin.

HOTBIN composting on an allotment


Tony went out to set them up with the volunteers this week. Before we started we checked the temperatures of the heaps around the allotments. They were ‘cold’ (very), with ambient (5C) in two, and 8C in centre of a big full 1m3 heap. There were plenty of compostable materials around in existing dalex/plastic cones and wooden bins on the allotments so both HotBins were filled to the three-quarter level. Some of the materials added were mushy wet fruit and vegetables (bits were anaerobic smelly), lots of stalks (cabbage/broccoli) and stems from raspberries etc. Also some shredded paper (Karin) and cardboard (Gil).

We basically just ‘hoofed it all in’, and in this instance, we did not cut or chop things up – we wanted to compare current composting taking typically 12-34 months with the same waste in a HOTBIN. We used the ‘winter heater’ in one HOTBIN and not in the other. We’ll report back on temperatures each week or so.

What are the allotment users composting objectives and requirements

  • Compost – humus for helping soil fertility, reducing fertiliser, increasing water holding
  • Clear up waste – very few allotments get a ‘waste collection’ so there is a need to reduce and remove plant waste

What’s different in an allotment over the house/garden?

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One comment

  1. Hi Hotbin people again. The hotbin is doing a splendid job. Topped up to full on Friday and on Sunday was third empty. Generally temperature is 110 to 120 F and at this rate it will “eat” my compostibles in record time. My only concern is that the opener to extract the compost is not very secure and I will have to rope it in place to ensure that the bin does not empty itself. Any ideas?

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