MERRILLVILLE | The Cornejo family has found a machine that turns garbage into money.
Hector Cornejo, president of Momax Marble & Granite Inc. in Merrillville recently bougth a die-cutter and is turning stone scraps previously sent to a construction and demolition landfill into paver bricks and fire pits sold at the business.
"I used to try to give away all of my sink cut-outs but I couldn't find enough people who wanted all of them," Cornejo said. "This is a perfect solution."
Cornejo said since production began on the paver bricks and fire pits in September, he has cut the amount of waste sent to the landfill and the cost associated with it by at least 50 percent.
"To me, the $200 we're selling the fire pits for is money I'm getting back instead off paying to have the same material hauled away," Cornejo said.
Salvador Cornejo, Hector's son and director of marketing for Momax, agreed.
"It's a money-maker, no doubt about it," Salvador Cornejo, marketing director for Momax and Hector's son, said. "Our waste costs are down, it's better for the environment and we're turning a profit. Everyone wins."
Salvador Cornejo said the company filled orders for 20 fire pits in the first month of selling the recycled products.
Hector Cornejo said the machine can accommodate other dies that can be used for other products created from the scraps in the future.
"This is just the beginning," he said. "Who knows what we may be able to do?"