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.

Just Posted

Correlieu Secondary School made the announcement on their Facebook page. (file photo).
COVID-19 case detected at Correlieu Secondary School in Quesnel

This case marks the seventh time COVID-19 has been detected in the Quesnel School District

Lori Weseen gives a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to William Lindstrom. Lindstrom was the first person immunized at the new clinic inside Arena 2 in Quesnel. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
‘We answer the call,’ Quesnel nurse one of many making pandemic switch

Vanessa Salmons is helping lead vaccination efforts in Quesnel

A crash on the Quesnel River Bridge is backing up southbound traffic on Highway 97 in Quesnel. (File Photo)
Crash on Quesnel River Bridge backs up southbound traffic

At least three vehicles were involved in the collision, which took place on the bridge

The Gold Rush Cycling Club is asking users of the Wonderland trail network to respect any temporary trail closures that may be necessary during trail construction. Four new trails are anticipated to be constructed this year. (Photo submitted)
New development on the horizon for Quesnel’s Wonderland Trail Network

Construction on four new trails to start soon, says Gold Rush Cycling Club

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardner finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Most Read