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Construction workers commiserate over problem faced on job sites: ‘Seems like such a shame’

Construction, though often necessary, is extraordinarily harmful.

Construction, though often necessary, is extraordinarily harmful.

Photo Credit: iStock

Construction waste is a huge problem, but sometimes there are many reasons to not reduce, reuse, or recycle industry goods.

That was the conundrum one worker took to the r/Construction subreddit last year, titling a post “Such a waste.”

Construction, though often necessary, is extraordinarily harmful.
Photo Credit: Reddit
Construction, though often necessary, is extraordinarily harmful.
Photo Credit: Reddit

“I guess in the grand scheme of a commercial project this isn’t much,” they wrote. “Seems like such a shame to destroy so much new material. Maybe Commercial guys can chime in.”

“Why?” one Redditor asked. “It would just end up back at contractors yard, ‘that might come in handy’ but it never does. Just skip the lot of it.”

The poster responded “Yeah, I’m not unrealistic. I realize it’s not worth it sometimes. But,Ugh This kind of waste makes me sick.”

Another commenter in an adjacent commercial industry cited the hassle and expense associated with doing the right thing. They said a subcontractor once abandoned 20 door frames and doors that “were not correct.” The user called a local store that offered to take the stuff … if it were delivered.

“Yeah… F*** all that,” the person said. “Into the dumpster they went.”

It can be worth it, though.

All items in mint condition can be used rather than trashed. And even slightly damaged or imperfect items can be repurposed. It saves money, first of all, as well as energy and raw materials. And it’s a win-win: These benefits double because the drywall, salvaged parts of an office building, or whatever are also kept from landfills or incinerators.

Construction, though often necessary, is extraordinarily harmful. It generates air and water pollution — including up to 40% of global carbon pollution — as does the manufacturing process for associated supplies.

When natural resources are extracted from the earth, people and the environment bear the brunt of the impact. One of the biggest issues is the use of concrete, dubbed “the most destructive material on Earth” by the Guardian.

In the case of this job site, a couple of users pointed out the value of pipes that seemed to be cast or ductile iron.

And the poster noted that their scraps could be someone else’s treasure.

“At least, this landfill has guys picking the pile,” they wrote. “It will likely get recycled if nothing else.”

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