Leaving HOTBIN while on holiday
Off On Holiday? How to Care for Your HOTBIN.
If you are off on holiday soon (lucky you), you may be wondering what will happen to your HOTBIN while your away. It will be common to find the internal temperature of your HOTBIN has significantly dropped on your return however, it should still maintain higher temperatures than that of a cold composting bin. The drop in temperature is due to no new waste being added to the bin and therefore the bacteria not having access to an easy food source.
So if you don’t have a HOTBIN sitter, do not despair as here are a few steps to keep your composting over your holiday period;
Before You Go on Holiday – “Feed Your Bin”
On your HOTBIN’s last ‘feed’ before you go away, add a variety of waste types with differing rates of decomposition (e.g. a mix of grass cuttings, woody material, kitchen waste etc), not forgetting shredded paper and bulking agent too.
This should provide the thermophilic bacteria with ‘slow’, ‘medium’ and ‘fast’ energy sources and stagger their digesting speeds in your absence, which in turn should delay the cooling of the HOTBIN’s contents.
On Your Return
Feed the HOTBIN as soon as you can with new waste (including shredded paper and bulking agent). If possible, use a high proportion of easy to digest waste, such as grass cuttings and vegetable peelings. This will provide the dormant bacteria with an energy source and should encourage them to start eating the new material and to begin generating heat once again. After this, continue to feed your HOTBIN as normal to see an increase in temperature.
What if My HOTBIN Doesn’t Heat Up After My Return?
If adding new waste to the HOTBIN does not increase the temperature then try adding in the kick start bottle. Place in the top layer of waste and cover with fresh waste, then leave for 24 hours and do not open the lid during this period, this will give the bacterial process a boost.
Please follow the instructions on the kick start bottle carefully to avoid injury.
Once the temperature in the HOTBIN has increased, you will need to continue to add waste to achieve hot composting temperatures of 104-140°F.