Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Dalek Composter trial Day 1 to 4 (for comparison with HotBin)

I thought it would be interesting to compare how a more "traditional" composting bin worked, with respect to the HotBin. I started the Dalek bin at the same time as the HotBin. and used roughly the same materials. Dalek is a 330 L capacity bin, as offered for a discount by most Councils in the UK. The HotBin is 200 L in capacity.

Day 1 

I set up a Dalek black plastic compost bin with base plate close to the place where the HotBin is being trialled.

I obviously had enough traditional composting material available to more than half fill the Dalek, so got it going straight away. I used a mixture of week old material from an existing compost bin, fresh weeds, cut nettles, grass, hay, guinea pig droppings and paper scraps. I filled the Dalek bin up to the top with this mixture. This is the same sort of material I filled the HotBin with.

Part filled.

 2 hours after I filled the bin. the internal temp was 20 C, external temp was 18 C. Much the same as the Hotbin, just a few feet away.

I put the lid on and kept it in place,  apart from taking readings.

Day 2

The bin level has dropped very slightly

Ambient temp was 20 C
Internal material temp was 30 C.
A good temp rise for a Dalek bin filled wiith compostables..

Day 3

Level of material dropped slightly more to around 20 cm from the max level at the top of the bin.

Ambient temp13 C.
Internal temp with thermometer inserted about 10 cm into material in middle was  40 Celsius.
At the edge of the bin the internal temp was 25 C .

No obvious steam or heat was noticable.

Day 4

(readings taken at 11am)

Ambient temp. 16 C
Dalek contents have slumped by ~ 30 cm from the max level
Internal temp middle of material @ 10 cm down into material  50 C

Feels hot when the lid is removed. Steaming gently now!

 At 6pm the internal temp. was still 50 C in the middle, @10 cm down and the internal temp. at the edge, @10 cm down was 40 C.

Getting going now!

1 comment:

  1. This is the type of bin I use, but we don't have base plates for ours.

    I usually have five on the go at any one time, as one is full to the top we move onto the next and then go back filling up more as the levels drop.

    When the first bin has been used for about 2 months or so it's gets tipped into the worm bed for them to do their stuff, then after that it is usable on the veggie beds again.

    It's good to do a comparison like you are to see which is best there are so many on the market.

    The good thing with compost though is that you can do it virtually any way and eventually you will end up with goodness for your garden.

    Sue xx

    Sue xx


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