I wonder how many people are familiar with that term.  Especially in this economy, scrappers are active in every inner city in this country, and you occasionally see them combing the suburbs as well.

Scrappers are people who collect aluminum, copper, and other scrap metals and turn them in at recycling centers for cash.  These metals may come from building supplies, vehicles, surplus materials, appliances, etc.  Monies the scrappers receive for these metals fluctuate from time to time, but they always get reimbursed.  I took these pictures yesterday:

This guy had a shopping cart loaded with all kinds of stuff and was struggling to push it down the street.  You have to collect hundreds of soda cans to receive a sizeable reimbursement, because they weigh the scrap you bring in and give you money accordingly.  But this was a heavy load . . . he must’ve been walking the alleys, picking up stuff.  Usually, I see people doing this in pick-up trucks, making the work much easier.  They take old appliances, break them down and use what parts they can.

One of my two-bedroom homes has central air, and I evicted someone in April and had the next tenant move in by May.  When the weather got warm and they turned on the AC, it didn’t work.  I sent my HVAC guy over to check the system.

Evidently, someone had gotten into the crawl space and totally stripped all the copper from the air conditioning system.  No wonder it didn’t work!  Scrappers were getting good money from copper at that time.  It cost me $600 to get that AC up and running . . . sigh . . .

Times are tough, and there are hundreds of homeless people everywhere, even in harsh winter climates like Indianapolis.  Some scrappers do scrapping to enhance their income, some do it as their sole source of income.

When I think of recycling, I think of the blue bins out on the curbs in the ‘burbs. That shopping cart and its contents?  Recycling on steroids.

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