recycling the "space junk"
In the late 1970s, Andy Griffith starred in TV show called Salvage One. In the pilot episode, he took a ship to the Moon and returned with space junk to sell. There was also a Star Trek - Animated Series public awareness spot regarding space junk back then, too. (No jokes about Chakotay.)
The problem with salvage in orbit is the problem of capture. The Gemini, Apollo/Soyuz and ISS programs demonstrated how difficult and expensive it is to link up vehicles designed to meet. How much harder it would be to capture objects that are unpowered and out of control at 8km/s tangential velocity. It would be amazing if it could be done.
Also, the law of salvage in space should come in line with the law of salvage in the sea. As the article states, one country cannot touch another's space junk. Once the laws change, there's gold in them hills.
Given the environmental effects of letting "I don't know what's in that thing" burning up in the mesosphere, and the economic and educational benefits of pouring a few billion dollars into a reduce-reuse-recycle space race, I really think we should do all we can to keep it up there.