HOTBIN Can Compost Biodegradable Trash Bags!

HOTBIN Can Compost Biodegradable Trash Bags!

Made from corn starch, plant extracts and even paper, many trash bags in circulation today are both biodegradable and compostable.  These bags do biodegrade in the HOTBIN under certain circumstances and actually very quickly in our tests. The HOTBIN needs to be steaming at >104°F when you add them (shredded), and they will break down within 30 days.

What to know… How to get it done!

Although biodegradable/compostable trash bags will break down in the HOTBIN, throwing them full of food inside although convenient… is not recommended. Trash bags need to be shredded first before being thrown with food and garden waste into the HOTBIN.

Although it not as convenient, there are reasons why the food-waste need to be taken off the bags and into a container waiting for more food, or into the HOTBIN (sans the bag) with the suggested proportions-to-waste of shredded paper (1/2) and mulch/woodchips (1/5).

Once emptied, you can hose the bag with water, cut it into pieces or shred it, and add it to your composing pile. Adding the full trash bag containing food inside will restrict airflow and bacteria from accessing their food source. The HOTBIN and its content can become anaerobic (sans air) and the decomposition process can stop.

To summarize, loading trash bags full of waste into the HOTBIN (although convenient) it is not recommended. We have feedback from customers that have done it and have experienced problems.

Just remember that for HOTBIN to operate efficiently, bacteria must have easy access to their food source. If the food is inside a bag (which will eventually decompose but slowly) it will create a protective layer which bacteria will need to breakdown first before being able to access the waste inside - ultimately prolonging the decomposition process.

Can I still add the bag with the food content inside?

Again, we do not recommend you doing it. A trash bag “seals” the contents from airflow. The food inside the bag decomposes anaerobically during the first 1-10 days before the bag itself degrades. This leaves a mushy smelly mess; the bags then compress and form an impervious layer causing the bin to cool and turn anaerobic. As the temperatures fall, the bag decomposition slows leaving you with a HOTBIN that needs completely emptying and all the bags separating out – a very unpleasant job.


If you are using these bags to line your kitchen trash can, rather than adding them into the HOTBIN we would recommend emptying the waste from the bag into the HOTBIN first and disposing of the bag separately. To add the bag into the HOTBIN, you can hose it with water and cut it into pieces before adding it to your composting pile.

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