Shellharbour and Kiama are doing it, and soon Wollongong residents will be doing it too - turning their food scraps into compost fit for Bunnings' shelves.
Starting in September, 1600 households from Cordeaux Heights, Warrawong and Austinmer will take part in a three-month trial of the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) program.
Each household will receive a "kitchen caddy" with compostable liners for their food waste. When full, both the waste and the liner will go in the regular green-waste bin which is then taken to a Soilco facility at Kembla Grange.
"Something like around 80,000 tonnes of material is collected annually, 40,000 at the present is going into landfill and we want to reduce that further," Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
"It's very costly to put things in landfill, we have to pay $143 a tonne to the State Government as a levy, a tax, if there's less tax then less cost on our rate payers."
Four per cent of green house gas emissions for the Wollongong LGA come from Wollongong City Council. While 86 per cent of council's emissions are produced just from landfill, Cr Bradbery said.
Soilco general manager Charlie Emery said all food scraps would be able to go in the FOGO bin, as "if it grows it goes" (this includes meat).
He said the end product of the composting process was "high quality compost" which is then sold onto wholesale suppliers like Bunnings or retail landscape companies.
"It's a circular economy," Mr Emery said. "It provides jobs, it provides investment and you're getting a product you can put back on the soil and grow things again."
If the Wollongong trial is successful, Cr Bradbery hopes it to be rolled out in 2020 - once logistics and costings are determined by council.
Mr Emergy said it would also mean Soilco would be able to open a second Kembla Grange facility with another four storage bunkers to keep up with demand.
Sustainability advocates Hidden Harvest, who focus on reducing food waste in the home, have welcomed the trial but believe it's not getting to the root of the problem.
"[It's a] fantastic development that will have significant benefit our community, diverting tons of food waste from landfill," founder Berbel Franse said.
"The FOGO service does not actually tackle the issue of food waste but deals with the back-end of the issue in a more sustainable manner.
"When we're wasting food, we are also wasting the natural resources like water and energy, time and money that went into growing, packaging, producing, transporting, selling and preparing of the food.
"The average Australian household wastes up to 20 per cent of what they purchase. The good news is that much of this waste could have been avoided."
Ms Franse said the community needs to be upskilled to find ways in the home to reduce their waste such as using a shopping list, storing food correctly and make use of leftovers.
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