<--- longtime forum lurker here
Kim Hill wrote: If I could get my hands on unlimited amounts of granite, I would take it in a heart beat.
Kim, you likely can get all the free granite you want. I work for a granite counter-top company and we throw away a considerable amount. I am ashamed of the tonnage
we landfill weekly. This is the same material you pay $30-150 a square foot for, highly polished on one face, rough one the other. Most shops would consider any piece smaller than 20" as "waste".
It is beautiful and often free! For anyone interested in accent stone or small stuff for projects, I would suggest contacting your local granite counter-top company and see about getting some small pieces. Most of them have to pay to landfill it and view it as trash. It might be best to show up in person and ask to talk to the shop manager instead of calling ahead. We occasionally have people
show up and offer to buy the shop lunch for a couple dozen small pieces of exotic stone waste (this goes over very well by the way). Sink cut outs make really nice garden path stones, cutting boards, accent pieces, etc. I suspect people may come by after hours to raid the dumpster at work, but i couldn't say for sure since no one is there
. I would never suggest such a thing though.
Keep in mind you will be getting small pieces, usually nothing over 24". The polished side is often sealed with "tryepic" or similar products so not all of it may be suitable for your application. My understanding is that the sealers are safe when used as intended for counter-tops and chemically inert once applied. I would only have reservations about dumping LARGE quantities into a pond
or watershed, or using it in an oven. If you plan to use it around fire, you would likely want to burn or sand it off pretty well before preparing food in it. I don't want to scare anyone off, just giving full disclosure since I suspect most readers wouldn't think about the sealer. Do your own research if you have any doubt about using it in a way the manufacturer didn't anticipate.
So I have an unlimited
amount of granite "waste" at my disposal. I hope my fellow Permies can give me some new ideas about how to re-purpose it. I have built some condensation traps/reptile habitat with large piles of it, paved paths, lined concrete
walls and garden beds
. I am out of ideas about how to use it though.