Update 23 Jan 2013
It has been a couple of weeks since the bin was delivered and we started filling it. The instructions say to add material until it covers the door. We did not have enough kitchen waste do that but added all we had and did not expect anything to happen. Today I removed the snow from the lid and noticed the thermometer was reading about 8C. The last two weeks have been cold with the daytime max not above zero so I was surprised to see the air inside the bin was much warmer. There could only be one reason, the compost was working and producing heat.
A quick trip into the house and the additional thermometer was inserted deep into the compost. The reading was 30C, the compost had started itself without anything other than a good mix of ‘green’ and ‘brown’ material and the bulking agent (composted bark) supplied with the bin. I have reduced the air flow slightly as suggested in the instructions to see if the internal temperature will increase.
I have made hot compost for many years and sometimes it is hard to get going especially in winter. The last two weeks have been very cold with lots of snow here. That is not unusual as we are around 270m above sea level in a valley that is open to the east so the cold winds really have an impact. That leaves me impressed that the Hotbin has worked so well!
26 Jan 2013
After the heavy snow last night it was easy to see that the Hotbin was working – the air coming out of the vent on the lid had melted the snow. The lid thermometer was showing 22C and the core temp was slightly under 60. That is very impressive and shows just what the HotBin can do.