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A scientific slant on recycling junk

There’s having junk in your trunk and then there’s having junk in your yard. One is something you might want to have if you want an attention-grabbing derrière. But if you’re stuck with junk in your yard then you may have to consider moving house or getting a TV show.

You didn’t see that one coming, did you? Neither did Stevie Wonder. Ha! That’s a joke I learned in primary school. Feel free to use it.

Anyway, junk seems to be an important part of Top TV’s Discovery Science channel’s programming. Especially on Tuesdays.

On Tuesdays, there is not one but two shows dedicated to people, junk and, because of the nature of the channel, science.

First up is Junk Men, which features two back-to-back episodes. It is followed by an episode of Scraphead Challenge that is almost an hour long. Junk Men is centred on a highly respected junkyard, Jimmy’s Junk. Oh, the innuendo! Anyway, the yard is run by Jimmy Ruocco and is the go-to place for builders, pickers, mechanical experts and, interestingly, some high-end inventors. You know what they say: one man’s junk is another scientist’s treasure. They don’t say that? Okay.

It’s the bizarre one-of-a-kind parts in Jimmy’s Junk that make it a great place to dig for specialised goods that help to create all sorts of novelties. But it’s not just the (outside) science world that benefits from what looks like garbage to us. Jimmy and his colourful cast of employees don’t put themselves down at all.

Bart, Billy and Hale are always close by whenever Jimmy has brain-waves about the construction of new objects out of old, discarded ones. From the junk at the yard they have created a lawnmower racer, a hover-craft, a coffin car and much more.

Scrapheap Challenge, on the other hand, is a UK game show that now has an American version. The latter is what you get to see on the Discovery Science Channel.

The show pits two teams against each other in a challenge that includes putting all the stuff that other people don’t want to good use. The teams get 10 hours each to create a fully-functioning machine from scratch – or, rather, scrap.

The teams consist of three friends assisted by an expert in the field. Hand sanitiser is obligatory at the end of their exertions.

• Junk Men and Scrapheap Challenge air on Discovery Science (TopTV channel 302 ) every Tuesday at 6.30pm and 7.30pm, respectively.

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