When my air conditioner recently failed, I followed New York City environmental regulations and arranged for a curbside pick-up for the next morning. But they never got to collect it. Later that night I was awakened by the sound of a hammer on metal, and looked out of my window to see one of NYC's notorious and unlicensed scrap metal guys dismantling my dead air conditioner the hard way. These guys cruise the streets at night with vans, dismantling discarded machinery to harvest the metals within. The only thing left in the morning was the plastic faceplate.
I don't know what valuable metals an air conditioner contains, but I've just learned that your average photocopier contains five pounds of copper, which we all know is worth a pretty penny. (See what I did there?) The Science Channel has put together this fascinating video showing how the copper can be harvested, mixed with zinc to create brass, and turned into musical instruments!
I do wish that video was a bit longer, as I wanted to see details on how they produce the rolled edge on the rim of the bell, not to mention the second half of the object's manufacture. As it turns out, they left out a lot of cool details, as you'll see in this second video I found, which shows the entire trumpet-making process: