Made by Destruction recycles trash into usable treasures

I’m a big fan of shows like How It’s Made and Food Factory, two programs that go behind-the-scenes to show how all manner of things are created, from everyday items we use to the food we put on our plate.

But while those programs spotlight the creation of things from base materials, Made by Destruction comes at it from a different angle. Created by Toronto’s Yap Films, the folks behind Close Up Kings, Dig WW2 and Battle Factory, Made by Destruction—airing back-to-back episodes beginning Monday on Discovery—takes cast-off items and turns them into something else via recycling.

Mondays debut begins with the lowly photocopier. As technology surges forth in that industry, old models are being broken down to create the most unlikely of objects: trumpets. Sims Recycling Solutions in California goes through the painstaking process of breaking down office-size copies into its component parts.

Using cool CGI and engaging narration, Destruction outlines how defunct machines are shredded to extract the copper hidden in the power supply and motor casings, netting about five pounds of the metal. It’s fascinating to watch how a heavy-duty conveyor belt, series of shredders, magnets and vibrating meshes extracts the minute coils of copper collected, loaded into shipping containers and transported to Olin Brass in Illinois, where the instruments are created. Once there, 70 percent recycled copper is mixed with zinc to make brass cast bars. The bars are transformed into thin sheets, wrapped and sent to S.E. Shires in Massachusetts, where the final product is made.

Other stories featured in the first half-hour show how companies in Denmark and the Netherlands team to transform potatoes into biodegradable egg cartons, and a U.S. company turns empty plastic milk jugs into park benches.

All three stories—and the series overall—show the truly interesting journey old items go through to create new things. I’ll be tuning in.

Made by Destruction airs back-to-back episodes on Mondays at 7 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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