A private trash pick-up company, Ben’s Disposal, that serviced Parker, Hood and Somervell counties has left residents scrambling after the sudden discontinuation of services that started more than a week ago.

Ben’s Disposal, owned by Ben Parker and headquartered in Glen Rose, stopped picking up local residents’ trash, leaving them to wonder if the company had gone out of business.

“We have been customers of Ben Parker for many years, I think since the early 2000s. [July 19], our trash did not get picked up nor has his truck been by [July 26],” Horseshoe Bend resident Phil Alg said. “I started calling [July 20] to see what happened. I left messages to no avail. I also sent an email to him, getting no answer. I called one of his competitors and heard that he left Glen Rose where he had lived.”

Alg said he signed up for a new trash service last week, but had paid Ben’s Disposal for services through Sept. 30.

“I suspect that his demise has something to do with state sales tax because he started putting tax on his services in January of 2019,” Alg said. “He never charged sales tax before that, but I don’t know that for sure. I have paid for service through Sept. 30 of this year. I used to get a bill quarterly, but in March of this year I got a bill for six months. I didn’t think much of it, just thought he was going on a new cycle so paid it. Personally, I have nothing against Ben Parker. He probably just got behind on bills and just didn’t have enough to pay them all. I just wish he had handled it a little better.”

Kathleen Bronstad, a resident of the Harmony Circle area, said her trash had not been picked up so she went a head and signed up with a company called Waste Connections of Texas.

“I’ve been paying through my water company, they did it as a service where you could pay for water and trash together, and I called them and asked if Ben’s was really out of business, but they haven’t called me back yet,” Bronstad said. “A friend of mine said someone went to Ben’s yard and it was completely cleaned out — all the garbage trucks, all the bins — everything is completely cleaned up.”

Other residents from Parker County, as well as Hood County and Somervell County took to Facebook about the discontinued service with comments ranging from confusion about the sudden stop in service to questions about refunds and statements that the company went out of business.

Waste Connections of Texas Weatherford District Manager David Barrett said they have no specific knowledge about what happened with Ben’s Disposal, but after receiving several phone calls from residents about the situation, the company went out and helped pick up trash.

“The thing we do know is that we started receiving calls and texts from Ben’s customers on [July 23] saying they had not been serviced and needed someone to pick up their trash. In an effort to be a positive partner in our community and address a potential health hazard, Waste Connections responded by servicing many of these individuals and offering our services moving forward,” Barrett said. “Waste Connections has been providing solid waste removal and disposal in Parker County and surrounding areas since approximately 2003. We strive to provide service excellence for those communities that place their trust in our company and are always dedicated to putting our customers first.”

The Weatherford Democrat attempted to reach Ben’s Disposal by phone and email, but both were no longer in service.

An official with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as well as officials with Parker County and the city of Weatherford said Ben’s Disposal is not under their regulation and were unable to provide further information in regards to what has happened with the company.