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U.S. forced to pay recyclers to take old merchant ships

In the recent past, the Maritime Administration, which is responsible for disposing of aging merchant-class ships in the government inventory, often got one or more bids from U.S. salvage recyclers interested in buying such ships. But these days the government usually ends up paying to unload the vessels, a change attributable to the poor economy, tight credit, fluctuating steel prices and strict environmental restrictions.

"We put them out for sale and see if anybody bites," said David Matsuda, deputy maritime administrator.

Click here for the full report in The Washington Post.