02/23/2015 08:30 EST | Updated 04/25/2015 05:59 EDT

High school student David Ballas suggests chicken feathers as pothole solution

A high school student from Montreal's West Island believes he's found a way prevent potholes on the province's roads, using chicken feathers that would otherwise go to waste.

David Ballas, a Grade 9 student at West Island College, said he came up with the idea when his mother ran into a pothole while driving in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

“It was actually the day before I had to hand in my final idea and I didn't have an idea yet, and it was late at night so that is where the idea came from,” Ballas told Daybreak Montreal on Monday.

“Like we hit it, and I'm like right away that's what I am going to do for my project.”

Ballas said he consulted his father and two chemists and came up with an idea to incorporate chicken feathers into asphalt.

“I went on the internet and I was looking at all materials specifically in Quebec that are being wasted, and chicken feathers popped up,” he said.

The feathers are water resistant. After some testing, Ballas found they actually reduced fluid retention by 50 per cent.

The idea earned him the top prize at his high school science fair. He's hoping municipalities will take notice, but he hasn't yet received any calls just yet.