Composting at its optimum level
Hot composting is the method of composting where you manage the contents of the compost to optimise the natural composting process which raises the heat of the contents to an optimum temperature.
The result is an odour and pest free contents that turns into compost much faster than normal ‘cold’ composting.
You can get compost from 30 - 90 days.
When doing hot composting at home you will need to purchase a hot composter which we have listed the available options in the UK. They all have good insulation and various ‘tricks’ for helping the hot composting process.The key to hot composting is regular feeding of your bin of food waste, mixed with an equal amount of slightly bulky brown waste.
How it works...
For hot composting, you need to keep oxygen present in the compost bin. We call this ‘aerobic composting’. This promotes good activity by the bacteria which is responsible for breaking down the waste into compost.
It’s the bulky brown waste that allows gaps in the compost bin where oxygen is present.
Decomposition happens on the surface of the organic materials. The more you can chop things up the more surface you have for decomposition and the process is faster.
One important thing to consider when hot composting is manually helping air get into the compost bin. You can do this by turning (mixing up!) the contents of the bin weekly or if the contents dips below 40 degrees. You often see a spike in the temperature 1 or two days after this is done.
If you add a lot of food waste, it can let out lots of moisture, so you may not have to manually add water to the bin. If the contents gets too wet then air pockets will close and you risk the contents going anaerobic so no oxygen is present.
Overall, hot composting is a rewarding hobby that helps you reduce more waste, and generate nutrient rich compost for you to use.
What are the benefits of composting?
1. Reduce your waste
With hot composting, you can compost almost all food waste excluding large bones and oyster shells, so it’s a very helpful way to reduce your waste and carbon footprint. You can also add paper and cardboard which removes more waste going to landfill or the recycling plant.
2. Speedy composting
Hot composting is fast. You can get ready to use compost in 30-90 days.
3. Removes the bad
Because of the heat generated, the process will kill seeds, perennial weeds and pathogens. If the temperature gets hot, it also will be pest free.
4. Good fun
It’s a rewarding hobby that helps you learn more about composting and how composting works. My wife loves hearing me talk about composting ;)
What are the downsides?
Are these downsides or opportunities for more composting activity! That’s a personal question based on your preference and circumstances…
1. More effort
Yes, hot composting takes more effort. You need to monitor the temperature and aerate often. You need to regularly feed the composter and ensure a good balance of green and brown material.
Hot composters are more expensive than standard cold compost bins. That’s because they have features that help and are made out of better materials.