New Composting Bin Certainly Not Rubbish

Fri, 25/05/2001 - 01:00

2nd from left, inventor Tony Callaghan with Horticulture students and apprentices and lecturer Dawn James 

A group of horticulture students recently got to try out a ground-breaking composting invention.

Over a dozen students and apprentices from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus were given a demonstration by local inventor Tony Callaghan, of his invention called HotBin – a composting device which greatly speeds up the domestic composting process.

Tony was invited to speak to the students by Dawn James, Curriculum Leader for Land and Plant Studies at the Durham-based College, after she saw an article about his new invention in a regional newspaper, The Journal.

Dawn said: “I was fascinated by the story of HotBin and this amazing new product, so thought it would be good to see if Tony would be willing to come along to tell our horticulture students all about it.”

The new composting bin achieves a temperature of 60C, this heat therefore makes HotBin 34 times faster than traditional composting bins and ensures that food waste can be recycled more easily.

“It was great when Tony not only agreed to come in but to let us have a HotBin to trial out too,” Dawn added.

Callaghan started to develop his idea as a hobby project when he worked as a commercial product manager at Newcastle-based software giant Sage, and then decided to work on it full time after he took voluntary redundancy.

“My hobby became an obsession and then a commercial reality to get a composting bin that allowed households to compost a wider variety of food waste in their own back yard without attracting vermin, generating an unpleasant smell or creating a yucky mess.

“It was great to share my hard work and condense the intense 700 pages of industrial compost engineering science I had to revert back to with such an enthusiastic bunch of students who turned out in sub zero temperatures,” he said.

Mr Callaghan recently secured his first commercial contract with Sage, and is also talking to other companies about his invention particularly targeting smaller catering businesses.

Horticulture Apprentice Sean Mullen, aged 20 from Gateshead, added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing how it works, and comparing it to other methods of composting.”