Felix Bock, a PhD student at University of British Columbia, along with a young professional named Hugh Grady, turned thousands of waste chopsticks into home décor items. He estimated that about five tons of chopsticks were being tossed in trash each day in Metro Vancouver. Bock started collecting these under-utilized or trashed wooden resources and transforming them into coasters, shelves and tabletops.
Procedure of recycling chopsticks
Most of these chopsticks are made out of Moso, a type of bamboo grown in China. Each restaurant discards their used chopsticks into a separate recycling cardboard bin provided by ChopValue. Once collected, this material is then taken back to a shop on UBC campus, where they are cleaned, coated in resin and dried in an oven, and then pressed down flat and sawed into tiles. Finished product is then transformed into coasters, shelves, tabletops and other home décor items. Over 200 chopsticks are required to manufacture a single tile.
As more and more people are showing interest in recycling, ChopValue is well on its way to bringing these environmentally-friendly products to life with the help of Kickstarter.
Bock has also built a website (Chopvalue.ca) where anyone who is interested in joining the collection program can sign up. When a new user connects to this website, a new pick up point is indicated on the map, and ChopValue team is notified about it. Arrangements are then made for free pickup on weekly or biweekly basis.