David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator
Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

"Mountains--mountain ranges of steel, of aluminum dominated the skyline..."
In February and March and April I made repeated visits to the Hugo Neu Schnitzer and Metal Management scrap yards in Jersey. Hugo Neu Schnitzer is an other-worldly scrap yard in Jersey City. Both are right on the estuary, the outflow of the Hudson River, within a mile or two of lower Manhattan.

My first visit to Schnitzer occurred in the rain and with a huge cavalcade of trucks bringing steel from the World Trade Center. The steel came by truck and by barge. Mountains--mountain ranges of steel, of aluminum, only from the World Trade Center, dominated the skyline.

I was given a walking tour in the mud and the rain of the recycling operation. Very quickly after 9/11, steel began to be recycled and cut up and sent off to smelters for manufacture into new products in Malaysia, and Korea, Taiwan, elsewhere in the U.S. So it was outbound, and another important reason for us to try to act fast.