My HOTBIN is NOT getting HOT?

Getting up to temperature

Occasionally, despite following the set up guidelines (per the instruction manual), some customers struggle to get the HOTBIN up to 104 to 140°F. We understand that this can be frustrating... here is some help.

We have a lot of composting expertise to call on and are confident in our BRAND promise that we can get all customers hot composting given they have enough waste. The answers below work for hot composting in the HOTBIN. The advice might not match your past composting experience.

Please stick with us – the answers are based on the natural science governing hot composting. Once grasped, you will find the HOTBIN easy to use forever.

Taking the HOTBIN's Temperature

Your HOTBIN comes with both a thermometer on its lid and internal thermometer that comes separately. The lid (external) thermometer's purpose is to serve as a guide. For an accurate temperature reading, we recommend taking an internal temperature reading, as the two can differ by up to 86°F, mostly during winter. When taking the temperature of the HOTBIN, your main concern is the internal temperature which should be around the 104 to 140°F mark.

Turning up the Heat Check List

Here are the steps that will fix 90% of all issues:

  • Fill waste above door height
  • Stir in 8 hands full (half a carrier bag) of shredded paper (or cardboard) into the top waste.
  • Stir in 6 hands full of bulking agent to the top layer of waste
  • If the base layer behind the door smells putrid or sour, or you have lots of leachate (brown water) coming out of the base, mix in 1 trash bag full of paper and half a bag of bulking agent into the base layer. (It is usually easier to do this by taking the base layer out, mixing and then adding it back in.
  • Check door is tightly closed- use the cam belts
  • Shut the lid, check the valve is set at ~1 in. open
  • Add more waste, shredded paper and bulking agent every 3-4 days

If you have made all the 'getting to 140°F' checks and still have lots of leachate (brown water) and a putrid odor, please also read the post "waste too wet for hot composting" .

It should take no more than 7-10 days to get your HOTBIN hot. If you have not managed to get there, please contact us. We will ask you for a few lines of detail on the waste and for 6 photos of the HOTBIN and waste within. From here we will advise you on the next steps.