Worm Farm Reviews

The Hungry Bin: Review

In this article, we review the Hungry Bin composter, a large-scale worm bin that fits a lot of waste. Our review will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision on whether this is the right composter for your home.

Worm Farm Compost Bin - Continuous Flow Through Vermi Composter for Worm Castings, Worm Tea Maker, Indoor/Outdoor, 20 gallons

The Hungry Bin worm farm is one of the best worm bins for processing large amounts of household organic waste. It has a sleek and simple design which allows it to fit in anywhere in the yard without becoming an eyesore. Using a continuous flow design, it is more convenient than other composters that use a rotating tray system. The downside, however, is that the Hungry Bin is one of the more expensive products on the market. That being said, with the Hungry Bin you’ll be able to produce a constant supply of organic fertilizer with no ongoing costs.  

Hungry Bin overview

Continuous flow compost

Hungry Bin’s creator, Ben Bell, designed the composting bin to be as convenient as possible. The tapered design eliminates the need for the bin to be segmented into trays. This is because it uses a continuous flow design, much like the Urban Worm Bag. As the waste is processed by the worms and “flows” down to the bottom of the bin via gravity. The weight of the contents above then compresses the castings as it moves downward. This encourages the worms to keep moving to the surface where they work on the fresh waste. Such a design negates the need to rotate trays, ensuring a continuous flow of compost all year round.

Detachable tray for the castings

The bin comes with a detachable tray attached to the bottom of the tapered section. It collects the compressed compost that is ready to be removed and used in your garden. Since the contents are compressed, it will easier to handle because it will be free of any of our wriggly friends. This can be an issue with the more common tray type worm farms such as the Vermihut and Worm Factory 360.

Liquid collection

A tray at the bottom of the bin collects all the moisture (in the form of worm leachate) that seeps through as decomposition occurs. The detachable tray has a drainage hole at the bottom with a perforated in-lay to prevent castings from falling through. It is able to produce up to 1 quart of leachate each week that can be used on your garden if you wish.

Sturdy frame

The Hungry Bin also comes attached to a sturdy frame that is responsible for keeping the whole structure upright. Attached to the metal frame are wheels which make the relocation of the bin easy. The Hungry Bin can get quite heavy when full of compost and food scraps so this is a welcome addition.

Hungry Bin features

Fly proof lidAttached at the top is a hinged lid that ensures flies and other vermin don’t come into contact with the contents inside. It keeps any odors inside the container making it perfect for placing anywhere near the house. It is also placed at an appropriate height making filling the bin easy. It even has a secure catch to prevent it from opening in strong winds.
Detachable baseThe bottom part of the bin is where the ready to use compost compresses and gathers. Simply remove the tray and use the contents in your garden. The tray allows liquid drain preventing the castings from becoming too wet. An inner lining acts as a filter to ensure the drainage hole doesn’t get blocked. 
Sturdy supportThe bin is held upright by strong, sturdy, zinc plated legs. They are rust-resistant to allow them to last longer when stored outside.
Tapered designThe tapered design automatically compresses the castings as they move down through the bin. This encourages the worms to move to the surface where they are free to work on the fresh waste.  
WheelsThe bin has wheels attached to the frame to enable easy relocation. This is especially helpful when you take into account the heavy compost inside the bin. 
DimensionsThe Hungry Bin is 23.6 inches wide x 25.6 inches long x 37.4 inches high. (600 mm x 650 mm x 950 mm)

Pros

  • Long-lasting – The 15% recycled, food-grade polypropylene materials used to make the product will ensure its durability in outdoor settings. The zinc plating on the legs will also protect the metal from rusting. 
  • Huge processing potential – The Hungry Bin can process up to 4 lbs of kitchen and garden waste each day. This makes it a great choice for large households with lots of waste, or people with large gardens in need of fertilizing.
  • No layers or trays This is a key advantage of the Hungry Bin’s design. The continuous flow system means you won’t have to constantly rotate the working trays. You simply put food in the top and harvest the castings at the bottom. Simple!
  • Wheels  Given it is a larger worm bin than most, having wheels is important given the contents can get quite heavy. That doesn’t mean that it won’t take some effort in moving a full bin (see cons), but having wheels is better than not having any.

Cons

  • Expensive  Yep, this worm bin fetches a hefty price tag when compared to other popular products. But once you start making your own fertilizer from food scraps you won’t need to buy commercial fertilizers ever again!
  • Can get heavy  When full, the Hungry Bin can get a bit heavy to move around despite having wheels. Keep that in mind if you plan to move it around frequently.
  • Ventilation – Due to the Hungry Bin’s solid plastic design, you may have some issues with keeping your compost well aerated. Ideally, though, the worms will ensure the compost is aerated as they move from the bottom up to feed on the new compost. However, there is still a risk that anaerobic decomposition can occur due to the bin not having many other ventilation holes. 

How to use the Hungry Bin

Assembly

Some assembly is required of the Hungry Bin once you purchase it. The most complex part is putting together the frame with the wheels with the hex key (supplied). After that it’s a simple process of stacking the bin compartments and clicking them in place. You can check out the official assembly instructions here. 

Adding the bedding and worms to the Hungry Bin

coconut coir for worm farm bedding
Coconut coir is a great bedding material

Once set up, all you need is good bedding and some worms to get it going. It is recommended that you start with free-draining compost soil or coconut coir for bedding. As for the worms, use about 2000 compost worms to begin with. All that is left is to add some kitchen waste and let the worms do their work. Consider adding worm blanket on top of the food scraps to prevent the worms from wanting to escape.

Harvesting the castings

At the base of the Hungry Bin, there is a detachable tray for you to harvest the compacted worm castings. To access the contents, simply unclip the tray remove it from the main section of the bin. Because the contents above should be compacted, your precious castings shouldn’t readily fall out. Simply empty the castings onto your garden, re-attach the tray with the clips, and wait for the next harvest!

Things to remember…

Worm farm

The Hungry Bin is fairly easy to maintain. Just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Ensure that the lid is tightly closed. This is to prevent the bad odors from escaping and to keep flies away from the compost. 
  • Evenly spread the food scraps on the top layer of the worm bin. Ensure that you don’t put more than about a 1 inch layer of food on top at any one time. Any more than about 2 inches of uneaten food on top of the compost can result in higher acidity levels and nasty odors.
  • It will take a few months for the worm bin to fill up to about 3/4 full. You should wait until the bin reaches this level before harvesting your castings. This will ensure the castings remain compacted and do not form a sludgy mess at the bottom. 
  • Adding a compost conditioner at least once per week (optional) can help balance the acidity of your worm farm. Highly acidic food scraps should be added in moderation.

Conclusion

The Hungry Bin is a great choice for people who want to recycle large amounts of organic waste relatively quickly and easily. It requires little maintenance and is very easy to use, more so than tray based worm composting systems. Whilst it is ideal for outdoor gardens, you can also store it in a garage or basement if you don’t have the yard space. Although expensive, you’ll be saving in the long run with not having to purchase commercial fertilizers ever again. Definitely check it out if you’re after an efficient yet simple home composting solution. 

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