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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
RCMP: Small tin saved Trail man from stabbing

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

School District 8 is asking the education ministry to stop making the Foundation Skills Assessment data public. File photo
Kootenay Lake School District requests education ministry make annual student assessments private

The district is concerned the data is being misused by the Fraser Institute

Castlegar City Council at a pre-COVID meeting. File photo
Castlegar city council issues message to the community

“It’s more important than ever to come together and … ensure Castlegar is a great place to live.”

Zoey Uniat is now three months old. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar baby with rare disorder progressing towards coming home

Fundraiser for Zoey Uniat has raised more than $50,000

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Vernon, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Nordic House recorded deaths over the weekend

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

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

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read