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Company recognized for excellence in reclaiming Cochrane gravel pit

'We're proud of the results and so excited to see Greystone starting to take shape'
Burnco was honoured with an excellence award March 30 for its reclamation efforts of the Cochrane gravel pit.

It was no easy feat, but Burnco reclaimed its gravel pit in Cochrane and on March 30, the fourth-generation family business was honoured at the AGM in Edmonton. 

"Our challenge was to take a 140-acre gravel pit that had been in operation since the 1950s and turn it into a development-ready property in the heart of Cochrane," said land and resource manager Travis Coates. 

"This is something that took years of planning and execution." 

Burnco was awarded the Alberta Sand and Gravel Association Award of Excellence for its showcase of stewardship, community relations and operations from aggregate producers within Alberta. 

Located near the heart of the town for the past seven decades, the gravel pit provided hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aggregate needed to develop Cochrane from its roads, sidewalks, schools and homes. 

Batra operated the pit in its earlier days handing the reins over to Burnco in the 1980s. 

The site was depleted by 2019 and the last truckload of gravel was removed. 

Typically, reclamation in rural areas sees gravel pits return to a pasture or cultivation role, but this site had a different fate. The Greystone redevelopment concept was born which proposed a mix of residential and commercial uses. 

"We're proud of the results and so excited to see Greystone starting to take shape," Coates said. "It really shows how gravel pits can serve their community as a source of construction materials, and then serve it again once that gravel is gone and the site is reclaimed.”

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