A Bragg Creek resident is starting up a waste disposal service for the hamlet, with the hope it will help address ongoing challenges area residents are having with bears.
The business venture comes after female black bear was euthanized by Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers on Aug. 28, after she had torn into a resident’s garbage. Her three orphaned cubs are believed to still be in the area, and there have been sightings since the Aug. 28, including one of another mother bear with three cubs.
Juan Ramirez said when he heard about the cubs (and other recent bear sightings), he came up with the idea of providing better garbage management options to residents of the hamlet.
“I live on One Spot Crossing Campground, and we’re an indigenous culture campground, and we do our best to acknowledge that Grandmother Earth was here before us,” Ramirez said.
“And so for me, when all this happened with the momma bear, I found it a bit distressing that there wasn’t more of a permanent solution.”
If people are too busy, out of town, or just want to make sure they’re doing all they can to minimize the risk of attracting bears, Ramirez said his service can help.
And it’s something that makes him feel good about giving back to his adopted home.
“I want to be the kind of guy that I would want to put my community first,” he said. “That’s the spirit that I had in mind.”
Ramirez explained that the owners of the campground where he lives promote what he calls a traditional lifestyle.
“I try to live off the land as much as I can,” he said. “I’m a ceremonial man, practicing indigenous ways.”
By starting up the Bragg Creek Disposal Company, Ramirez hopes to give back to the community he has made his home. And as any good entrepreneur would argue, making a profit is always a good thing too. His hope is that business will pick up and spread throughout the Bow Valley.
The trash and recycling pick-up service will happen four, six or eight times a month. Each increment will be priced accordingly: four weekly visits for $200 per month; six scheduled visits for $300, or eight semi-weekly visits for $400.
Additional dump runs can be arranged through email or text, and will come with an additional cost.
In addition to the waste collection service, Ramirez plans to offer a maintenance/repair program for garbage and recycling bins, for an extra $40 a month.
Subscribers will receive a monthly report including visits received, the amount of garbage picked up, and some commentary from the technicians who will be handling the garbage and recycling.
Businesses in Bragg Creek have contracts with private waste haulers for their solid waste management needs. Rocky View County offers residential garbage and recycling services through a self-haul option at the local Bragg Creek Transfer Site.
“Residents bring their recycling, leaf and yard waste, and household garbage to the transfer site for proper disposal and management. The materials are collected and then transported to the appropriate facilities for processing or landfilling,” the County said in an emailed statement.
“The County does not offer curbside collection in Bragg Creek at this time due to the proximity of the hamlet to wildlife habitat,” the statement went on to say, adding that no business license is required for the type of service Ramirez is proposing.
Any inquiries regarding his new service can be forwarded to 403-671-1152 or [email protected].