That's my fancy name for dumpster-diving. Although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there really is a profession called forensic anthropology. Dumpster diving is sometimes called salvage or even rag-picking, but the basics are the same. It's the reclamation and reuse of things no longer subject to police-enforced claims of ownership. And dumpster-diving, as SMBIVANs surely know, can yield treasures. If you have gear and can call on some help, it can be part of a livelihood.
The reward to effort ratio is an iffy thing. Local knowledge is important. I've found the odds of finding something worth the expenditure of labor resources can be somewhat improved by reading the classifieds and ads. They give clues to concentrations of activity that may yield salvageable items. The signal to noise ratio is high, in both print and online, but it's still worth a shot. Examples of things that help include notices of demolition and factory and warehouse job openings and sales.
While browsing ads and looking for finds, in recent years, I've come across thousands of managerial help wanted and services offered ads. They grow like weeds in abandoned industrial parks. The managerial language is depressing. The employers are almost certainly full of shit about actually giving a job to any given applicant. They're covering their asses by nominal openness. The jobs will go to someone who fits their "eligibility profile", which means favors will be exchanged and useful social emollient will be spread—passive voice used advisedly. The seekers are even sadder. There's little they can do to differentiate themselves from the millions of similar schlubs. They have core competencies that have been and could be positive assets in exciting environments. They're self-starting, team-working, revenue-enhancing customer relations superstars. The "digitally savvy" achievers offer LinkedIn URLs for anyone who wants to see their CVs. The CVs are loaded with keyword and keyword phrases designed to act as search engine optimizers. The seekers have been tossed on the rubbish heap and they're hoping to flag someone who will pull them out. I'd do the same in a heartbeat.
The ones who don't have to worry about getting hired, in my personal experience, are the ones who can allude to a knack for recruiting scabs, union busting, cultivating stakhanovites, aggressive collections practices and facilitation of rent seeking efforts. To paraphrase, it's snapping turtles, all the way down.
I took a few of the vicious CVs and did an unscientific cross referencing of employment dates, corporate bankruptcies, regulatory disciplinary actions, corporate name changes and opprobrious mention in the news media. Sure enough, the snapping turtle core competencies correlate with corporate grief. They bust out a niche, devastate a community, a job class, the customers, clients, inmates and suckers; they leave the cleanup to the state and move on.