Are you Throwing Money in the Dumpster? 5/29/2012 6:00:00 AM
In my travels around the United States visiting, training and setting up fabrication shops I have noticed that almost all of them are throwing money every single day in the Dumpster. The sad thing is they have no idea that they can generate enough money in a year to pay for a new truck or whatever. This money they are throwing away is their stone and engineered stone waste.
All stone shops will generate a sizable amount of waste. One shop I recently visited was paying over $2,000 per month to a local waste disposal company to haul it all away. Even if you have a small shop the waste you generate can be turned into cash.
A fabricator I know in Texas collects all his stone waste and twice a year has a sale which generates over $30,000. That’s $60,000 per year in cold hard cash. What would it cost him to simply throw this all away? How does he do it? He has a yard sale. But there is a twist to this yard sale. Here is how he does it. First he runs an ad in the local newspaper announcing there will be a yard sale. Second he sells the stone really cheap or in some cases simply gives it away. He holds these on a weekend and has his employees come in. He next offers to cut the pieces polish the edges, etc. . . . This is where his money is made. One customer picked out a 3 x 3 foot piece of marble that he wanted to have made into a coffee table. The fabricator sold him the marble for $35.00 and charged him an additional $250 to cut and polish the edges. He did this all weekend long and was able to generate over $30,000 in stone that he would have thrown away. I don’t know about you, but I can always find something nice to buy for that kind of money.
This is just one example of what can be done with your stone and engineered stone waste. The following are some additional ideas:
1. Tumble it — Tumble stone is big and customers love it. Why not take your waste, cut it into small tiles and tumble it. These tiles can be sold for as much as $20 each. There are many tumblers on the market but you can also use a standard cement mixer.
2. Give it away to artist and craftspeople — if you are in an area that has a large arts and crafts community, why not give it away. You won’t be making any money on it, but on the other hand you won’t be spending it to get rid of it.
3. Sidewalks and patios—What about using it in sidewalks and patios. Masons get some big dollars for this type of work and it looks great. Terrazzo companies may also be interested in it for what is known as palandiana terrazzo.
4. Chicken Grit — Buy a rock crusher and grind the stone into fine grit and sell it to chicken farmers as chicken grit.
5. Landscape Companies are always looking for odd shape stones for paving, edging, etc.
6. The Green Advantage— Sustainability or going green is the latest trend right now. Why not use the fact that you recycle your waste to show that your company is concerned about the environment. This can not only get you more business, but one fabricator I know won an award from this local city for doing this.
7. Hot and Cold Plates from sink cutouts— A few years ago I was at a buffet in a local restaurant and noticed that all the food was placed on sink cutouts. What a great idea.
8. Stone Restoration Companies— Stone restoration companies are always looking for scraps of stone to practice on. Give them a call and have them take it away.
So the next time you take a look at all that waste sitting in your yard or the next time you have to pay your dumpster bill…THINK GREEN $$$.