Photos: Scavenging for scrap metal

Almost nothing is off limits to scrappers.

Houses, fire stations, schools and churches are scavenged within days of being abandoned for copper pipes and fixtures, aluminum siding and anything else of value. Light poles are toppled for the metal wiring. And manhole covers and sewer grates are peeled off the streets.

Who are the scrappers? They are laid-off autoworkers, drug addicts, high school dropouts and others trying to get by.

Click on a photo to open the gallery.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.