Hungry Bin Review – Composting Made Easy and Simple

The Hungry Bin composter is one of my favorite worm farms. But it comes with a hefty price tag. It’s big and requires some patience when starting. You may need to wait 3-4 months before you can harvest. I hope you enjoy this Hungry Bin review.

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Pros:
  • Well designed
  • Super easy to maintain
  • No lifting of heavy trays
  • No need to sort out the worms from the casting
  • Large capacity and highly efficient
  • Sturdy and moves on wheels
  • Wider surface area
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Worms can escape through the gaps between the lid
  • Insufficient ventilation for it’s size
  • Worm tea evaporates as the drip tray is in the open

Design

The Hungry Bin has a continuous flow-through system design. This is far more efficient than stacked tray systems. Compost worms are surface eaters. As they digest the food scraps placed into the top of the bin, they produce worm castings (or worm poop). The worm castings continuously flow downward, gradually compacting neatly at the bottom ready for removal.

Worm castings continuously flow downward, gradually compacting neatly at the bottom ready for removal.
Worm castings continuously flow downward, gradually compacting neatly at the bottom ready for removal.
To harvest the Hungry Bin, release the floor underneath.
To harvest the Hungry Bin, release the latches to remove the floor underneath.

The Hungry Bin composter needs to be at least ¾ full at all times to work most efficiently. You should only harvest worm castings when the bin has become full to the top. You can expect to harvest the worm castings every 2-6 months. To harvest, release the latches to remove the floor underneath. The tapered shape of the bin means only the castings in the bottom part of the bin will fall out. Each harvest will produce about 4 kg of compost. This means no no heavy lifting unlike many stacked tray worm farm systems. Since worms migrate upwards to the surface to feed, the castings will be worm free.

Note a common trap is harvesting the worm castings too early. If the worm castings are not compacted enough, the contents in the bin can fall out.

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Appearance

You can guess where the name Hungry Bin comes from. Broken kerbside rubbish bins were used in the early designs of the Hungry Bin. But don’t be deceived, the Hungry Bin is not the same as a rubbish bin. Although influenced by a rubbish bin, the design has adapted for efficient vermicomposting.

Assembly

The Hungry Bin is neatly packaged in a cardboard box.
The Hungry Bin is neatly packaged in a cardboard box.

The assembly of the Hungry Bin is not overly difficult. The bin is comprised of the separate parts including:

  • an upper body
  • a lid
  • a lower body
  • a skirt with latches to hold the floor
  • a frame (including legs, clamps, screws and wheels)
  • a floor and drain filter

Detailed assembly instructions with pictures can be found on the Hungry Bin website.

Air Ventilation

Compost worms are surface feeders. The top of the bin has a large surface area which helps to speed the composting process. However, air ventilation in the Hungry Bin is not a strong point. The design of the bin uses gravity to compact the worm castings as it flows through the bin. The large mass of compact worm castings can restrict airflow.

Drainage

Liquid passes through a filter and drips into an open drip tray on the ground.

Compacted worm castings can restrict drainage and encourage anaerobe activity. Sometimes is is necessary to lightly lift and fluff the bedding material to help fix problems in the bin. This is not as easy to do with the Hungry Bin compared to stacked tray bin systems, as it’s one large container.

Size

The Hungry Bin has a large processing capacity. When the bin is full of worm castings, it can weigh up to 95 kg. So it cannot be easily hidden out of sight. Given it’s size, the Hungry Bin is not suitable for indoors. In addition, the large mass of compost helps regulate the temperature in the bin. As it takes longer to heat up and longer to cool down.

A diagram of the Hungry Bin dimensions and key features.
A diagram of the Hungry Bin dimensions and key features.

A lot of worm bins are difficult to maneuver. This is not a problem with the Hungry Bin as it comes on wheels.

I find a lot of commercial worm bins are not big enough to support a small family. The average worm bin can hold up to 4,000 worms. The Hungry Bin at full capacity can support a population of 12,000 worms. The average food waste from a family of 4 would need about 20,000 worms to process each day.

Price

We can’t forget mentioning the price in our Hungry Bin review. Because it’s not cheap! But hey, they say you get what you pay for. And the Hungry Bin is no exception. It’s definitely a quality product.

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Hungry Bin Review Conclusion

All in all, the Hungry Bin composter is a superior worm farm compared to it’s rivals. The patent pending tapered continuous flow design is innovative and highly efficient. However, beginners should start with a smaller bin. It’s easier to learn the ropes and fix mistakes in a smaller bin. Once you have learned the basics, you should consider upgrading to the Hungry Bin.

Uncle Jims has an excellent review on the Hungry Bin as well. There’s plenty of information on the Hungry Bin website as well.

10 thoughts on “Hungry Bin Review – Composting Made Easy and Simple

  1. The price is the biggest issue with this bin. I get recovering costs of R&D, initial production, etc- but keeping the price point at $300 USD is a little harsh. Bottom line- the bin is cost prohibitive for all but the most astute vermicomposters

    1. Hi Wormguy,

      Thanks for dropping by!

      I agree the cost is quite expensive for your average vermicomposting hobbyist. I’d say they are targeting a different market though including businesses, schools and local governments or councils.

      Daniel

      1. I’ve had most other types of worm bins under the sun (multi story, inground, recycled bath etc). I finally decided to put up the money for a hungry bin (I’ll admit that I wasn’t entirely sober at the time), and had buyer’s remorse the instant I woke up.

        About a year later, I’m glad I made the irrational decision to buy a $300+ worm bin. It’s been the most successful bin I’ve owned bar none – easy harvest compared to taking off giant tubs of matter like in the tiered ones or digging around in the bath, produces a ton of castings, very easy to move (a bit heavy but duh, it’s full of castings). I get quite a few other pests (slaters, maggots, BSF, cockroaches) but I don’t really understand the concern with these – castings are still being produced at a damn fine rate, regardless of the non-worm inhabitants. If I ever want to harvest a few worms to put in pots or treat my chickens, just have to open the lid and grab some digging around the top. Highly recommended.

  2. I bought one and I’m new to all this ! Bout 3 weeks in and my worms still crawling all over my lid ! Ph of soil 7 . I wonder if they are searching for oxygen ! I’m going to buy a screen so I can keep the lid open

  3. I bought a Hungry Bin in January this year and placed my worms there, lots of them, as I had had a worm farm for over 20 years. As the bin was almost full, I harvested the castings today. The hinges were difficult to release, and I had to tip the bin sideway and dealt with the mess. I noticed all the worms are gone. They were all dead! I had no such problem with my old bin. I suspect ventilation is the cause of it.

  4. Awesome bin except at full weight the wheels have moved up from their original location (so no longer touching the ground) under the immense weight and I’ll need to get a dolly from bunnings to put underneath for future location shifts.

  5. Its Sturdy! The Hungry Bin is made of thick plastic and a few metal components. This thing is designed to last. They did not cut corners on materials.

  6. I have had my hungry in for several years. It is a joy. I have never regretted the initial outlay as it is the most efficient and trouble free system I have had, and I have had a few. I would recommend it to anyone.
    The only issue I have is that the castings don’t gravitate down to the collection tray so I suspect that I haven’t enough fibrous carbon material in the mix and this has resulted in the castings being too wet. I will attempt to remedy this today.

  7. I too have had my hungry bin for some years. It works well. It is positioned on a sunny deck. Got around the heat issue by making a corflute cover on five sides and putting insulation panels between the confluence the the bin. Handles outside temperature well and truly into the 40’s.

    My only grumble is the wheels. You can never tighten up the supports enough and the weight of the bin means the wheels are never touching the ground, so very difficult to move around. If someone has a tip on this I’d appreciate it.

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