Gurnoor Chawla and Ashley Ciardullo are part of the Operation Take Two team. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)

Okanagan students win big after innovative idea impresses CBC’s Dragons

Rutland Senior Secondary students in Kelowna turn trash into treasure with Operation Take Two

A team of Rutland Senior Secondary students successfully pitched their idea to the big leagues.

Ashley Ciardullo was one of the students who appeared in CBC’s Dragons’ Den. She and her teammates presented their project, Operation Take Two in the spring and the episode premiered Nov. 7.

“Operation Take Two is a youth-led social enterprise revolutionizing the global issue of by empowering communities to turn their trash into treasure,” Ciardullo said.

But how does it work?

“We do this with our plastic recycling workspace, which is in a repurposed shipping container and we take all of the plastic recycling from the school. We put it all into these two machines, shred it down, melt it down and turn it into new objects.”

ALSO READ: More e-scooters roll into Kelowna as micro-mobility market heats up

For now, the machines make multi-purpose containers out of the plastic products. The workspace is operated out of the school’s courtyard and is manned by student volunteers.

The Operation Take Two team first entered the Sustainable Development Challenge in Kelowna, which they won. Ciardullo said that was the first push they needed to really develop the idea and bring it to Dragons’ Den.

The team went into the Dragons’ Den seeking $30,000. They ended up partnering with Lane Merrifield and Jim Treviling and receiving the deal. They also received another $30,000 from GoodSpark Desjardins.

WATCH: Dragon’s Den auditions hosted in Kelowna

Sharing the idea on the show has helped them gain more traction and support, according to Ciardullo.

She added they have big plans for the project, including expanding the initiative within the community as well as establishing other workspaces.

Gurnoor Chawla is the marketing manager for the project and she said they’re also planning on expanding the range of products their machines are producing.

ALSO READ: UBC Okanagan exhibit to highlight history of gender and sexuality

“At the moment we have three products coming up. There’s a hexagonal bowl container, a pendant that is made entirely out of Solo cups and a Christmas ornament, which is coming up for the holidays,” Chawla said.

She added they will be selling the products at the Christmas markets in town.

Chawla said they will also be releasing a survey to find out what other products people would like to see from them.

For more information, visit their website.


@twilamam
twila.amato@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Annual Sturgeon release in Vanderhoof cancelled due to COVID-19

Fish will instead be released by the staff of Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.

BC Hydro opens applications for COVID-19 Relief Fund to residential customers

Small business owners will be able to apply to the fund next week.

Northern B.C. charity rolling out COVID-19 relief funds soon

United Way of Northern BC say funding requests are outweighing the amount of donations received.

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

COVID-19: University of Northern B.C. moves to virtual grad celebration

The College of New Caledonia and Thompson Rivers University have cancelled their events

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read