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Chamber recognizes Kyanite

The Buckingham County Chamber of Commerce recently recognized Kyanite Mining Corp. for its service to the community, particularly for its annual day of picking up litter along roads across the county.

In early April, about 75 Kyanite employees banded together for a day of removing the trash. The employees filled more than 630 bags of trash, pulling 59 tires from ditches.

According to Sallie Atkinson Mowbray, an employee of Blue Rock Resources and Kyanite Mining Corp., who accepted the chamber’s award on behalf of Kyanite, the annual cleanup has been held on and off for about 10 years.

Kyanite’s president, Guy Dixon, allows the employees picking up the trash to be paid while they work, according to Mowbray.

Mowbray said the work to beautify Buckingham is Kyanite’s “being good stewards of the land, and my hope is that it creates a better frame of mind for people, and it encourages people to think twice before they throw trash along the side of the roads.”

Not all employees of the firm participated, Mowbray cited, noting some being physically unable to help and some having to remain in their offices and respective positions on the mountain to keep the operation going.

“We started at Gieseke (Road) at 7 a.m. and closed out at 3 p.m,” Mowbray said. “And the company furnished lunch for everybody that participated at noon, and we had snacks in the morning.”

The roads that saw trash cleaned from their ditches included parts or all of Route 60, Red Road, Rosney Road, Route 15, Buffalo Road, Cotton Alley Road, Plank Road, Chellowe Road, Ca Ira Road, Bell Road and Scotts Bottom Road.

Mowbray said 637 bags were filled. “We know this because VDOT counted them as they picked them up. And VDOT has also given us a plaque thanking us.”

“We feel like they’re an asset to the community and they go over and beyond in community, service, and we wanted to honor their accomplishment of … 637 bags of trash and 59 tires,” said Eddie Slagle, president of the chamber.

“I think it’s great, but more people need to get out and do the same,” Mowbray said. “I would like to issue a challenge to other businesses (to) do the same.”

She added that she thought it was “wonderful to be good stewards of the land, and I hope people will think twice,” referencing those who litter.

“Kyanite not only took it upon themselves to do Route 15 where they’re located, but they did a lot of the surrounding … rural roads, like Rosney and Ca Ira and all the rest of those,” Slagle said.

“The small businesses that we have in Buckingham probably couldn’t take it on in the magnitude that Kyanite did, but it would be nice if some of the local businesses would take on sections of roads and, you know, clean those up.”

Slagle said small businesses taking up smaller portions of roadways “would certainly go a long way … Hopefully they set an example for all these people going on throwing trash out not thinking about it.”