Operation Junkyard debuted in fall 2002 as part of the Discovery Kids Saturday morning programming schedule. Essentially a spin-off of TLC's popular series Junkyard Wars, OP/JY featured teams of teens that were challenged to build gadgets out of junk in six hours. Teams featured on the show include the Rummaging Robots and Jurassic Junkers, and the teams were tasked to build gadgets like water bailing machines, mud scooters, and remote control battleships.

At the beginning of each show the challenge of the day was revealed and teams attempted to collect "bodgits" by completing small challenges. "Bodgits" were helpful advantages that teams could earn, including time with the on-set engineer or special parts for use in their build. Two identical school busses filled with junk were given to the teams, who had six hours to create their contraptions.  These busses were custom fabricated with the intent of becoming a "workshop-on-wheels."  The interior was completely gutted, sides were cut off and bi-fold drop-down doors were added, and the exterior was custom painted.