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FAQ

What is HOTBIN made from?

This is a specialist, multi-use plastic that is very durable. ARPRO® EPP offers high impact strength and is used extensively throughout the automotive industry in impact protection components such as car bumpers and can also be found in children’s bicycle safety helmets. EPP also has tremendous insulation properties too!

HOTBIN Is NOT Made From Polystyrene?

The HOTBIN is definitely NOT made from expanded polystyrene (EPS). EPS is far too brittle to survive the rough and tumble life of an outdoor compost bin. EPP ‘looks’ a little like polystyrene because it is made in a similar manner, ie the raw plastic is made into ‘beads’ (each one containing air) and then the beads expand when they are moulded under pressure into the HOTBIN shape.

Not a Single-Use Plastic and Fully Recyclable

EPP is not a “single-use” plastic, the material is fully recyclable and can be made into new products. HOTBIN consists of just 4% raw material and 96% air, making the HOTBIN extremely resource efficient!

How Long Will The HOTBIN Last?

We offer a 3-year manufacturer’s guarantee, and subject to proper use, we expect it to last 10-20 years. We advise you to take care with sharp implements like garden forks and sharp knices as these can puncture or cut into the walls.

HOTBIN Is Manufactured in the UK

Manufactured in Spennymoor, UK

How should I set the HOTBIN valve?

Ensure valve is moved to the correct position as the HOTBIN will not function with the valve closed as air cannot flow through the bin. Note the valve should never be completely close, the HOTBIN will not work.

Optimum Position – Open 2mm

Always set the valve to the optimum position – open approximately 2mm. The valve should be left in this position.

Fully open 

Opening the valve will cause the pressure to drop and the HOTBIN will cool rapidly.
The temperature will not stay above 30°c when the valve is open. If the internal HOTBIN temperature is above 70°c, open the valve. It will normally only take a couple of hours to cool back below 60°c.

I have steam coming out of the valve is this OK?

Occasionally when the air temperature drops, the steam leaving the compost (via the valve) will condense before it drifts into atmosphere. You might see small drips on the lid and sidewalls as it drains away. This is normal so please do not worry.

Water leaking from the base

One of the top reasons why people struggle to get into a successful routine is their food waste is “too wet”.

“Too wet” is not related to visible water dripping from your food waste. It is about how much water is contained within your waste compared to how much energy (calories/heat) is available in the food to remove the water as steam.

If you have leachate leaking from the base, are getting putrid drain like odours and are struggling to get above 30°C, these are all signs your waste is “too wet”. You can remedy this by adding in extra shredded paper/cardboard to absorb the moisture and extra wood chip to provide additional aeration in the HOTBIN.

Why does my liquid fertiliser smell? What do I do if it smells?

These acids are produced in all forms of composting as waste is broken down into ever smaller compounds that bacteria can utilise.

We do not recommend you apply such liquid to plants. Many of these acids can be phytotoxic (bad for plants). If you have collected such liquid, always leave it for several weeks until the bacteria (present in the liquid) consume the acids – it will turn odourless and is then safe to use on your garden.

Liquid that smells is also an indication that the contents of your HOTBIN may be too wet and requires attention to stop the contents from turning anaerobic! You can remedy this by adding in extra shredded paper/cardboard to absorb the moisture and extra wood chip to provide additional aeration in the HOTBIN.

How do I remove compost?

Place your thumb into the grip gap against the wall, then place fingers opposing into door. Now push the thumb and fingers apart – the hatch will pop off.
Do not attempt to lever the hatch into place using a spade or trowel or any other object. You will damage the door or the walls.
We advise you do not take the hatch off until the HOTBIN is at least half full – there are two reasons:

  1. The weight in the HOTBIN makes it more stable and significantly easier to remove and re-attach.
  2. If the HOTBIN only has new waste in, it will pour out of the hatch and there will be considerable waste to clear up. When the first compost is ready (60-90 days), you will find the compost sticks and holds largely in place when the hatch is removed.

Removing compost:

Rake out your rich compost. Many will be tempted to use a fork to reach the back. We stress this is unwise and needs extreme care – if you dig or slam a sharp implement like a fork into the hatch, walls or base, it will damage the unit. Do not ‘dig’ or ‘thrust’ a fork or like into the HOTBIN. If you have followed the recipe – you will probably be pleasantly surprised – your compost will be sticky, but fairly small lumps/fines that are quite easy to remove without any ‘forking’ needed to remove it.

Replacing the hatch:

First clean all compost from around the edge of the panel and the door area. The hatch will not fit flush if waste is blocking it.
Please note that there is a ‘right way’ and ‘wrong way’ up for the hatch – the top and bottom edges are different. Ensure the HOTBIN logo is going to readable (ie right way up) when back in place.

How to remove compost:

Help, My Bin Smells Putrid!

This can affect the top (stage 1) or the whole bin (stage 2). To fix stage 1 mix two handfuls of bulking agent & shredded paper into the top layer, close and leave for 2-3 days. If no change the base layer has likely become anaerobic (stage 2). Seek further advice online or contact us.

How Do I Use the Leachate?

any more could indicate waste is too wet. Leachate can be used on the garden to enrich the soil. Do not use if any  other colour than brown.

Using the Base Layer

Use as mulch or gradually add back into the HOTBIN with fresh waste as per feeding instructions.

There are Worms in the Bin?

Brandling worms survive in the cooler base layer but are unable to survive the hot upper layer so you may see them escaping.

Can I Compost Grass?

Grass is very wet/easy to digest waste and will quickly collapse into a slimy mess. Always add the same amount of paper and limit to one (HOTBIN Mini) or two (HOTBIN) mower hoppers worth a week mixed with other types of material.

My HOTBIN is over 100 Degrees

It is highly unlikely that the HOTBIN will self combust because it is too damp.  bacteria start to die off at 72°c so the temperature is self-regulating to an extent.

I Can’t Get the HOTBIN Hot

Contents should be lightlymixed (not layered). Ensure thermometer reads °c not °f and take the internal temperature for accuracy in  the top 5-10cm of waste only.

Can I Add Old Compost?

Anymore offers no benefit as it is already composted and the nutritional value depleted so there is nothing for bacteria to consume and produce heat.

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