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All unemployed settlers will collect one random junk item per day, which is automatically added to the workshop inventory. A settler assigned to a scavenging station will instead collect two random junk items per day. Once the total number of junk items in the workshop reaches 100 + (population × 5), no more junk items will be added to the workshop in either case.
To assign a settler to the station, enter workshop mode, select the settler, target the station, and press assign. One can verify assignment in workshop mode by highlighting the station and checking that the settler icon changed from red to the current UI color. One should see a crow icon while highlighting the settler and, if both the settler and station are within line-of-sight, the station they are assigned to will also be highlighted.
While the player is at a settlement, assigned settlers will periodically interact with their station by using a blowtorch on it. Unlike workers assigned to crops and defenses, settlers will not work multiple scavenging stations even if they are placed in close proximity.
The scavenging station can be damaged during an attack on a settlement, but unlike most other settlement objects, it doesn't display any visible damage clues. To determine whether a scavenging station is damaged or not, it must be viewed while in the workshop interface. If damaged, the option to repair it will appear, which requires one steel and one wood. The damaged station will not produce resources until it is repaired.
The scavenging station is located under Resources → Miscellaneous.
Scavenging station (1)
Scavenging stations are a cheap method for reducing unemployment in any settlement, which is necessary for the recruitment radio beacon to continue to function. No new settlers will join a settlement in which more than four settlers are unemployed. While the stations neither generate monetary income nor increase happiness, as the majority of stores do, they require far fewer resources and perks to build. They also require less space than stores, allowing them to be built in sufficient quantity to assign every settler a job.