Can sorting and crushing : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

Here is an idea for Junkyard/Scrapheap challenge that you are free to use. Have the teams build a can crusher/sorter machine. It could be tied in with recycling efforts being done in either country, though it would be easier in California since it is pushing recycling pretty hard with a law on the books forcing cities to reduce landfill usage by 50%.

There would two types of cans, one metal (usually canned foods) and the other aluminum (soda or beer). It would also help that they are of two different sizes so the contestants could have at least two different choices for sorting the cans (like tuna cans versus Coke cans). Either the teams have to build a hopper or be able to pull in the cans from a pile on the ground. Maybe supply the teams the hopper so that they don't have to worry about that part of the problem.

The teams then could use one of many choices of physical mechanisms to sort the cans or instead, use magnets to pick up one type of can and not the other. Most likely you would have two experts that went the two different routes. Also the cans would have to be crushed flat by the end of the process. Even here the teams could go with rollers or some type of hammer type mechanism. They could crush then sort if they wanted to.

The winner would be the team that completed the sort/crush of all their cans the fastest. That way you only have to worry about fixed number of cans to get. Instead of using two different cans you could use plastic bottles versus steel cans but I would think two different cans would make the better impression on TV.

I bet you could even get some food/drink companies to supply the cans. If you don't want end user product placements then go with groups like the Aluminum Association and the association the pushes the use of steel cans to supply the raw materials to crush.

Keep up the good work,

Clay Maeckel San Jose, CA, USA

-- Clay Maeckel (, January 25, 2001


In order to keep the show successful, the contest has to be somewhat exciting. A non-mobile machine that merely sorts out cans doesn't sound that exciting to broadcast.

-- RayfordSteele (, March 13, 2002.

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