Something big, black and monolithic has appeared in the garden, just behind the greenhouse. Next door’s dog is spooked, the cats are mildly curious, Noel has that resigned air of someone who knows there’s a few extra tasks coming his way and I’m excited. Very excited.
The 2001 monolith lookalike is more of a space saver than a Space Odyssey, but hopefully it will be a planet saver, as well as saving me a pretty penny on compost for the next few decades.
When the delivery man knocked on the door, all I could see was a massive shadow through the glass, my, he’s a big lad, I thought. When the website said it was the size of a wheelie bin, they meant a giant wheelie bin, not the compact one we have. It was a minor hiccup, a small detail, but there he stood with my new Hotbin, the Rolls Royce of home composters and it was mine, all mine.
After a bit of ‘to me, to you’, ‘left hand down a bit’ and a moderate amount of swearing, Hottie McHotbin as I have named her, was manoeuvred through the house to her new home. Good grief, she’s a big lass, though she’s smaller than Butty McButtface, the water butt, who is her new neighbour.
As a Yorkshire lass I don’t part with my money readily, it’s easy to compost garden waste, scrap paper and make muck from rubbish, and that’s free. But there are some things you can’t compost, like perennial weeds, cooked food waste, mouldy bread and bones, as those black Dalek-like bins don’t get hot enough to break them down. But then came the Hotbin which gets so hot, it melts snow and you can fry an egg on it, OK, so I made the egg-frying bit up, but it does get up to 60C, which is definitely hot enough to see off the nasties and cook up a rather fine mulch in 30 days and compost in 90 days, many many times faster than the Dalek bin. Alys Fowler, the Guardian’s gardening guru swears by it and many other reviews say how it cuts the amount of rubbish going to landfill, which is good enough for me.
Hottie is made from black polypropylene and has a fancy thermometer and venting system, along with a fancy rakey thing and a couple of sturdy straps to stop the whole monolith from taking off into orbit under all that composting pressure. She’s rather sleek and stylish too.
She wasn’t cheap, about £165, so it will take a while to get a return on my investment. But I’ll be throwing less away and travelling fewer miles to buy compost and that for me is priceless.