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Scrap or Die: The Economics of Scrapping in the Rust Belt

Daniel Brown

As I left Slavic Village, I thought of something Shorty had told me. “You’ve got thousands of condemned homes in Cleveland,” he’d said. “What do they do with all the stuff in those buildings? They send it to a landfill. Why wouldn’t you let someone who is unemployed go into a building and get what they can get? It’s going to be demolished anyway.”

Maybe that is the paradox of scrapping: the same economic forces that created the housing crises also helped create the scrappers who survive on it.

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Reminds me of how we've made a business about recycling, which I am not really sure about. Seems like there should be a better system? Wondering how the scraps get transported and reclaimed.