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> You could build an entire civilization just using our leftovers, no need to dig iron out, just melt the hundreds of millions of automobile husks that will be everywhere.

Not sure if this is practical. In contrast to ore which is basically rock and more-or-less pure iron (or other desired metal), automobiles are a wild mix of different alloys which would have to be extensively processed (if this is possible in the first place). With plastics, the situation is similar if not worse, given that not all plastics melt, and burned fuel is burned and cannot be recovered at all.

The only thing where our civilizational waste can be used is if someone invents a Star Trek replicator clone.

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