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Construction worker sparks debate online after sharing photo from job site: ‘There are a lot of people who aren’t [professionals]’

“It’s disrespectful to workers to speak about them like they don’t know their jobs.”

"It's disrespectful to workers to speak about them like they don't know their jobs."

Photo Credit: iStock

A recent photo of excess drywall led to a debate on Reddit’s r/Anticonsumption forum. The image shows a pile of scrap drywall left in the garage of a newly constructed home. 

While the Redditor who posted the photo was shocked by the amount of leftover drywall, Redditors with construction experience believed the drywall was being properly recycled.

"It's disrespectful to workers to speak about them like they don't know their jobs."
Photo Credit: Reddit

“Entirely recyclable back into new drywall, and it sure looks like they are sorting their construction waste for recycling,” wrote one Redditor.

“There are a lot of people who aren’t professional drywall installers who seem to know about how to install drywall. It’s disrespectful to workers to speak about them like they don’t know their jobs. The scrap absolutely will be efficiently recycled into new drywall. This is a normal amount of offcuts,” commented another user.

Construction sites result in a massive amount of waste. According to a report by the EPA, in 2018, construction and demolition generated 600 million tons of waste. Leftover drywall is especially important to properly recycle because it emits a toxic gas when dumped into a landfill.

The good news, however, is that drywall can be easily recycled and turned into new building materials. In fact, most drywall can be recycled into new drywall as long as the paper is removed.

Scientists are also working on methods to recycle drywall into reusable building blocks. Another way drywall is reused is by turning the scrap pieces into ground gypsum powder that can be used in agricultural fertilizers.

If you’re a homeowner trying to get rid of excess drywall, contact your local waste management for bulk pickup times. While drywall cannot be recycled through curbside pickup, it can be put out for bulk waste

“I worked for a trash company,” wrote one user. “I had to sort the recycled building materials. I can’t say how many tons of drywall I sent off to be recycled. Shingles, scrap metal, wood, wires, concrete and stone also.”

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