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

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

Salvation Army Capt. Michael Ramsay, right, receives a donation of $5,000 on behalf of the Bread of Life from RBC Foundation members Mena Rai, left, with nephews Makhan and Kartar, RBC’s Eric Matheson, Rai’s nieces Veera and Isha, and RBC manager Leona Horvath. Rai’s nieces and nephews often participate in RBC fundraising initiatives. SONJA DRINKWATER/Special to the AV News)
RBC in Port Alberni raises funds for homelessness

Bread of Life receives $5,000 donation

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Port Alberni collect garbage in the Scotiabank parking lot on Saturday, April 17 as part of a Community Clean Up. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s community street clean-up a success

Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre plans ocean clean-up for April 24 and 25

Wounded Warriors runners run along Beaver Creek Road towards the Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department hall. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni’s Wounded Warriors stage solo run

Vancouver Island-wide event was cancelled, but Maria Marciano and Dave Nesbitt ran anyway

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations celebrate legal victory in fishing dispute

Ha’oom Fisheries Society and T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries announce “major legal victory”

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read