I'm all for letting people role play as they see fit. In this particular case I'd question if anyone actually builds a character with the intent to make them a broken rake collector. If those rakes didn't exist I'd doubt anyone would miss them or the ability to build the character this way. Admittedly, I could be wrong .It can only be fun in role-playing games. For example, a character with an obsession with a specific junk item, like broken rakes.
The underlying point is this random garbage has zero game play impacts beyond supplying more in-game currency. If there were a need for more in-game currency it could be addressed by providing more of it via the various methods to acquire it. You shoot a NPC in the face and they have more money on their corpse. Barring that, at least make the items collected useful for something beyond "sell to merchant". Apply some lore or story element to them. Case and point, many books in TW3 were completely pointless from a functional stand point. They were still fun to read. Thus, they had a purpose outside of "sell to merchant". A broken rake, fishing net, piece of trash, gum wrapper, broken bottle.... Yeah, those serve no purpose.
Interestingly, the TW3 example of books raises another annoying game design trend. Certain types of special loot or gear obsoleting everything else in the game world. Yes, I'm referring to witcher sets. After my first or second play through I recognized the general theme of loot progression in TW3. In a nutshell, pick up unique early sets off merchants, acquire your first witcher set then leap from witcher set to witcher set. 99% of the remaining gear in the game was instantly obsolete. There were very few gear pieces you would even consider outside of the witcher sets because everything else was flat out inferior (there were a few notable exceptions, of course). Incidentally, 99% of the gear also turned into "sell to merchant".
Consider for a moment all the work placed into those gear pieces. The item itself, the visuals of it, the description, etc. To me it feels like most of this work ends up irrelevant when the gear in question is forced into obsolescence. It felt like bad design.