DAY 4: 12 Days of HOTBIN Composting Christmas Tips
DAY 4: Away in Hay Manger (Stable) – Composting at Christmas
Before slipping into our festive dinners for food leftovers to compost, let’s not forget about our four-legged friends and everything pet-wise related that can be composted in your HOTBIN this Christmas.
Some people may laugh at pet owners buying their beloved pet an advent calendar with daily treats, or stockings with gifts to surprise them on Christmas Day. However, pet gifts and treats is a big business! In the USA, pet owners are expected to spend on their furry friends an average of $137 during the holidays. For many people, pets are members of the family, and not surprisingly, they are included in the holiday gift giving and festivities.
What to compost? Good examples are those treats they turn their noses up to, as well as the cardboard outers and corrugated gift boxes. Most cartons can be shredded and added to your HOTBIN to provide the much-needed aeration. If in doubt, just send them to local recycling providers. Shredded carton-paper is an added bonus to your bin as it is capable of absorbing excess water and helping to balance moisture levels when adding wet waste into the HOTBIN. Pet food leftovers can also be composted in your HOTBIN.
Hay and Chicken Poop
If your HOTBIN is running at 140° you can add dried hay/straw which can break down in 10 days. Straw is considered tougher to break, but when mixed with chicken poop, it can speed up the process. Indeed, chicken poop works as an accelerator and is good for giving the HOTBIN a heat boost!
Santa’s Reindeers Droppings and other Pet Waste
Due to pathogens present on waste, most composting sites advocate the composting of herbivore waste only (plant grazing) and not carnivore. However, the above concerns apply to cold composting methods, where the heap does not reach the hot temperatures required to destroy the pathogens in the waste.
This is where HOTBIN separates from other composting methods, as it operates at higher temperatures of 104-140°F capable of destroying pathogens. In other words, pathogens in the pet-waste are no longer an issue on hot composting methods, as they are killed off at these high temperatures —so even Santa can pop Rudolph’s droppings in a HOTBIN, and get it composted.
Cat Waste and Concerns
If adding cat waste, note that pelleted and wood-based litter can be composted. However, if white zeolite and similar clay-based litters are composted, they will remain (seen) in your finished compost due to their material make up. However, concerning pathogens will be killed during the hot composting process.
NOTE: It is important to check the internal bin temperature is between 104-140°F before adding this type of waste. This can be done by inserting a thermometer a few inches into the top of the waste inside the bin.
Another reminder: Good hygiene is essential with any animal waste, wear gloves at all times, wipe down areas that have come into contact with pet waste and of course always wash your hands.
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