Someone who made a living by rummaging through refuse in the streets to collect material for salvage. Scraps of cloth and paper could be turned into cardboard, broken glass could be melted down and reused, and even dead cats and dogs could be skinned to make clothes. The rag-pickers did not recycle the materials themselves; they would simply collect whatever they could find and turn it over to a "master rag-picker" who would, in turn, sell it—generally by weight—to wealthy investors with the means to convert the materials into something more profitable
An unskilled person who picks up rags from trash cans and public dumps as a means of livelihood they are called rag pickers