Councillor Petrina Arnason gave out the Upcycle Design Challenge awards on Thursday evening. Shirley Sawatsky won for her little lending library, chosen in the challenge category. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Langley residents turn trash into treasure and earn some nice coin

The Upcycle Design Challenge was a contest to reuse and repurpose items destined for the landfill.

They had pop can pull tabs woven together to make a dragon’s wing, a rug made from small strips of old clothing, pine cones and a picture frame combined to make art, and more thought-provoking uses for what most people would see as garbage.

The people who made the objects on display for the Upcycle Design Challenge 2018 turned items destined for the dump into arts, crafts and practical items for everyday use.

“This is our sixth year,” said Krista Daniszewski, the sustainable programs specialist for Langley Township. “Every single year I’m continually impressed with the creativity.… This contest is all about inspiring to think about waste differently,” she said.

The winners of the annual contest by Langley Township in partnership with the Langley Arts Council were announced at a reception Thursday evening.

• Best in Show: Robert Maitland for his six-foot tall dragon. He wins $300.

Most people would work with metal if they decided to make a six-foot dragon. Maitland, who works at a plastics manufacturing firm, decided to challenge himself.

“I figured I’d try something different and work with plastic,” he explained.

The main body was a PVC t-joint. For the eyes, he used LEDs and hot tub jets.

Last year he made a piece that had a small dragon made of metal. He received a runner up prize.

“I decided to upscale it. You know, go big or go home,” he said.

• Most Practical: Jelena Nicolato. Her coffee table was made with a glass top and metal parts base. Her prize is $150.

• Best Use of Challenge Material: Shirley Sawatsky, for her little free library, which featured reuse of a cabinet and other pieces to make a free lending library. That won her $200.

• Best Youth: Justin Pilon. To practice welding he assembled various metal parts into a rat rod car sculpture and won $150.

• People’s Choice: Wayne Wishart. This grandfather made a miniature tractor for his grandkids. He won a $500 Willowbrook Gift Card provided by the shopping centre for the prize voted on by the public.

The challenge material contest asks entrants to reuse a particular item. This year it was furniture since that tends to be larger and least likely to be recycled.

The entries are on display at Willowbrook Shopping Centre until April 30.


Welding practice earned Justin Pilon the $150 prize in the youth category for the Upcycle Design Challenge. His award was presented by Township Councillor Petrina Arnason. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Township Councillor Petrina Arnason presented the top prize to Robert Maitland at an awards reception Thursday. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

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