Cold, ice and snow hits composting temperatures
The temperatures of my two Hotbins used to compost was food from the park cafe have been hit by a drop in attendance at the cafe dure to the snow and icy conditions.This has resulted in a reduction in the amount of waste from about four to six kitchen caddies a twice week to less than 5litres in total. As a result of the lack of feed the temperatures in the compost bins have fallen from 45C and 55C to less than 20C. This problem should not arise at home where there should be a steady supply of kitchen waste but it does show the importance of feeding the bins with 5l of foodstuff at least twice a week . Now that the weather is better the supply of waste should return to normal and normal operating temperatures should be acheived.
Normally when recording operating temperatures when hot composting the readings are taken from the central core of the material. In the Hotbin the top 10-20cm of material is the hottest and it is recommended that the recordings are made between 5-10 cm below the surface. There is a middle layer below which i also monitor at a depth of 15cm, with a lower levels are only slighly above ambient. recording these temperatures and the air temperature just inside the lid makes an interesting project for schools and provides a useful record for community composting groups.