The scrappers are mainly Green and Red residents who work clearing trash dumps and scavenging them for usable materials. They originally stripped cars for the tire rubber, oil residue, mechanics, sheet metal, and electrical components. A stripped chassis was then used to construct a horse cart. Many scrappers were individual operators, working their own “territory” of vehicles, and scuffles over whose property an unstripped vehicle was often turned bloody. Scrappers were generally tough former mechanics, and were not afraid to fight for their rights to their area. Their name was coined around that time with the double meaning of their pugnacious attitudes and their work of salvaging scrap cars.
Over the years, as demand for the automotive components became saturated, scrappers moved on to new fields. Most recently, some contracted with the government to begin computer refurbishing, pulling usable technology from dumps and using the newly developed Jones Process of rebuilding to make the equipment usable.
Scrappers who contracted with the Citadel received approval to “own” certain dumps as their private supply centers. They are still fiercely territorial people, and will drive off anyone stealing from their dump with violence if need be. Thieves like Emily and her friends act carefully and under cover of dark nights and storms, and risk being badly injured if caught. Anyone injured stealing from a scrapper’s yard is legally at fault, no matter how badly they are hurt. Scrappers have been acquitted of murder since the new laws after refurbishing began.
Scrappers are so protected because they are able to provide the Citadel with access to a new tech infrastructure. The refurbishing process is complicated and can be dangerous, and scrappers working alongside technical engineers are the only ones with the complex knowledge required to rebuild computers. The long and complicated work means technology is only available to the government, and to those who can afford it.