letters | a lost bike

With scrap metal in demand, a bike left out puts other wheels in motion

Mary Gamerman of Jamaica Plain, who wonders why her old, rusty bike was stolen from her backyard (“Missive for a stolen bike,” Letters, Dec. 6), should understand that whoever took the bike may never ride it. Even old metal goods have value on the metal commodities market; hence the rash of thefts in recent years of sewer drain covers and metal fixtures from grave sites whenever commodities prices increase. Gamerman’s bicycle has likely already been sold for scrap.

Scavenging garbage for the inherent scrap value is part of the underground economy, and it offers some social value — putting back into commerce materials that many people simply want to throw away.


The practice is illegal in some jurisdictions, but not all. We all should be aware, however, that there are unscrupulous parties out there, and we need to protect property that we value, however old and beaten up, from the predations of those who value the items for other reasons.

If you do have metal goods that you want to discard, see what happens if you put them on the curb the night before your weekly trash pickup. They’ll probably be gone long before the garbage truck comes by the next day.

George Stubbs


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com