Reduction: Pennsylvania town on sale for £1.2m

Reduction, a tiny town in Pennsylvania, can currently be yours for the aptly not-oversized price of £1.2 million.

The tiny was built – and got its name from – the American Reduction Co., which, as its name suggests, specialised in reducing waste and garbage. Located on the Youghiogheny River, the plant there saw workers render animal carcasses and sort household waste from metal so that it could be sold on. The workers, though, needed somewhere to live, and so the town came into existence.

400 people lived there at its peak in 28 houses, reports The Telegraph. In the 1930s, though, after decades of processing waste from Pittsburgh, the plant shut down. While the garbage-sorting gargantuan was closed, though, people lived on in the town: today, there are 60 people in Reduction, accommodated by 19 brick houses.

The Stawovy family, who own the village, collect the rent from the people staying there. They first bought it back in the late 1940s, when local farmer John Stawovy planned to buy a house there, but was ultimately convinced to buy the whole place.

“My mother and dad wanted their own place,” John’s son, David, told the newspaper. “The man said: ‘Why don’t you buy them all?'”

And so Mr. Stawovy stumped up just $10,000 for Reduction, which he son said he never regretted. Today, David owns the village with his three siblings, although all that’s left of the plant is its foundation. Even the local town dump, which once held some collectible bottles, has been cleaned up.

“This was the original recycling plant,” he added, also telling TribLive that being the village owner did come with its perks.

“I’ve done it all my life,” he commented. “I’ve got to be the mayor, the fire marshal and the dog catcher.”

David cites his age and the funding needed for his late parents’ nursing home care as the reason behind them putting Reduction on the market. He has said that all the tenants will be given up to a year to move from Reduction once the town has been sold.

Andrew Knopsnider, who was taught by Stawovy at school, told TribLive that he plans to stay in the village, which is “nice and quiet and peaceful”. He has lived there for more than two years in a three-bed cottage.

The result joins a long line of once-thriving towns that have since been put up for purchase wholesale. While Stawovy senior paid $10,000 for the place, though, the price tag is a tad higher in 2017: £1.2 million. That includes the plant’s foundation, the 19 homes, a one-room schoolhouse that has been converted into a duplex, and a unique claim to owning a piece of US history. According to the Associated Press, it was once called “The Town That Garbage Built”.

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