Liquid Fertilizer. HOTBIN Leachate Collection System

Hotbin liquid fertilizer leachate

HOTBIN Leachate Collection System

During the composting process, water is released and much of this water is removed as steam through the valve in the lid. However, any excess water drains down towards the ground, and dissolves to form a dark brown liquid. This liquid is a fertilizer also known as leachate.

HOTBIN models Mini (26 Gal.) and MK2 (52 Gal.) feature a much-requested leachate collection system, which consists of a valve to collect this liquid fertilizer that is naturally created as part of the HOTBIN composting process, and can be used as a liquid fertilizer. Users will normally get a small amount (approx. 1 cup) of liquid fertilizer every week. 

About the Collection System

Both the HOTBIN Mini and Mk.2 models have a sloped internal base which funnels the liquid towards the drainage cap like water draining from a shower tray. 

The leachate will collect in the bottom of the HOTBIN under the aeration plate, that can be drained off by unscrewing the cap located at the at the bottom-right side of the bin. To collect the liquid fertilizer, you can put a shallow container under the tap. HOTBIN Plinth raises the bin and makes collecting the liquid fertilizer easier.

No need to be diluted - As the leachate from the HOTBIN does not have a high value of NPK (Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), indicating the ratio or percentage composition of the three important nutrients for plants in a fertilizer), it will not burn the plants and therefore can be used as is or without diluting it. However, if you wish to make it go further, it can be diluted.

Note: If your leachate has an odor, this an indication that it is anaerobic due to depletion of oxygen and liquid should be let to stand to allow the bacteria to  complete the digestion of the intermediary organic chemicals.