Can the HOTBIN Compost Just Food Waste?

Can the HOTBIN Compost Just Food Waste?

Yes. The HOTBIN doesn’t require the addition of garden waste in order for it to work effectively. The unit can be used to compost solely food waste – the only issue to consider would be waste types which need a higher temperature (104-140°F) to be composted such as cooked food waste/small bones.- In fact, our test HOTBINs located at our HQ in the UK, are primarily run on just office food waste with a diet of leftover buffets, tea bags and coffee grinds which is topped up by some extra waste brought in from home by the team.


  • If your HOTBIN temperature reading is over 104°F: 
    • Add cooked food waste, meat, fish and bones
  • If your HOTBIN temperature reading is under 104°F:
    • Add vegetable peelings, off-cuts and fruit peelings (including citrus), tea leaves, coffee grinds, nuts, etc.
The majority of food waste is relatively easy to digest waste. Therefore, after waste has been added into the HOTBIN, the temperature will rise reasonably quickly... but it will also drop faster.
  • To sustain the production of heat:
    • Also add-in harder to digest waste as this breaks down (and produces heat) over a longer time period.

Using HOTBIN 100 LT (26 gal) Mini

You may find our HOTBIN Mini to be more suitable for food-only composting, as it requires less waste to maintain hot composting temperatures.

To conclude:

  1. Get to know your composting HOTBIN. Although all composting HOTBINs are the same in structure, they all compost differently based on the waste you add-in.
  2. Know your temperature peaks and troughs and this will give you a good idea of when to feed it.
  3. Remember, whatever volume of waste you add into the HOTBIN, please ensure that it is chopped up and that both shredded paper and bulking agent/wood-chips are added in the suggested ratios.

    Bear in mind that although the HOTBIN will drive off some of this moisture, food waste is very "wet" so you may need to add some extra paper to control those moisture levels. Again, get to know your HOTBIN and you will be fine!

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