Probably a couple ways to look at this for your situation.
If you are only thinking of only recovering clay, then you would need to recover an equivalent of about 174 boxes (50 lbs each) to hit break even. That is assuming you buy at a bulk rate of about 30 cents per pound for mid-range stoneware. To recoup $2,615, you'd need to recover about 8,700 lbs of clay. In that sense, clay is cheap and that is a lot of reclaim. Add to that your cost of labor for time spent reclaiming.
For your work (high volume production), where it might become more interesting is the potential of using the pug as an extruder -- notice the special deal for the tile extruder die. If you can reclaim and pug to a form that does not require re-rolling on the slab roller, you are saving labor and possibly increasing productivity. Not sure how many $$$ of product you aim to get from a box of clay; but look at the 174 boxes of reclaim clay not as clay, but as items made. Let's say your goal is $500 of gross sales from a box of clay; recovering 174 boxes equates to about $87,000 in sales -- sales you are missing now because it is potential scrap being tossed. Against the sale potential, the investment looks rather affordable -- especially if your are doing production volumes. In that sense, the addition of a pug to not only recover clay but also produce product can make this more interesting to your operations. And, if you make lots of flatware, you could have custom dies made to suit your product line, thereby growing productivity.
Disclaimer -- I was really bad in economics. So, I apologize for any faults in logic.
First, check with your homeowners insurance company to see what your coverage encompasses. However, and there is always the however, if your kiln, wheel, equipment, inventory is for your business, your homeowners insurance may not cover it. I have a separate business owners policy that covers my pottery studio equipment and materials and inventory (as well as coverage for fairs, events). Same company as my homeowners. $325 year. Covers replacement of studio equipment and inventory (less deductible). Insurance policy is deductible as a business expense.
Cassius has a tendency to bloat when fired over cone 5. Outgassing can also be hard on the elements.
A friend slaked Cassius down to a slip and applied it on stoneware and fired it to Cone 10 (natural gas/reduction) with no issues. Going with a dark clay as a slip is a good alternative; plus you get more choices on colorful line glazes on a white interior than with black clay.
One reason I sell online is that I sell specialized ceramic. I am a vegan and I want to fuel that market with my ware. It is a growing market and I really love being able to give vegans something that they can enjoy and share with friends.
I'd look for events that cater to vegans and vegan lifestyles. In the spring, I do a number of garden and flower shows because I make ikebana and other vases. Those events have the audience I am trying to reach (and, most times, I will be the only potter there selling wares . . . can't ask for a better set up.)
Do we have a section here in the forum or CAD where we can find up coming shows?
Various magazines, such as Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, Clay Times, Studio Potter, all have listings of upcoming shows that a person can apply to. You can also try the on-line services mentioned above. Some are also listed in the events forum on this site.
Hard part is differentiating between juried shows/competitions for exhibition of an item vs. juried fairs for selling.
My wife makes/sells rag dolls (Raggedy Ann, Raggedy Andy, and others); at fairs, kids buying with their own money get discount. She has also been known to help a young buyer out if they are a bit short.
The real question is when they find them will they be great pots or lesser wares?
Without being able to see the ones not available/unearthed, how can you tell? Many of the pots in museums we hold so dearly as "great" may have been the discards and throw-aways. One man's/woman's shard pile is another man's/woman's treasure.
You should be okay using sand during the glaze firing, too. Just make sure you leave some space between the sand and where your glaze starts. The vent should not be moving the sand around during the firing. Options to using sand include clay cookies allow the platter to sit above the kiln shelf, clay slats, or clay coils. But the key is to get the platter/flat item above the shelf so it cools evenly. The kiln shelf retains heat and cools more slowly as it is thicker than your pottery (except for sculpture). Allowing the item to cool above the shelf minimizes the chance for uneven cooling and cracking.