Waste company closes leaving thousands with stinky trash - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Waste company closes leaving thousands with stinky trash

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MILLINGTON, Tenn. (FOX13) - When you pay for a service in advance, you expect a reputable company will hold up its end of the bargain.

That's has not been the case for thousands of Mid-Southerners, doing business with the trash collection company ABC Waste.

For weeks, the Millington-based company has been collecting a lot of checks and no trash.

Several ABC Waste trucks should be collecting garbage from 5,000 customers in six Mid-South counties but instead they're parked in an old Millington Road lot.

As a result, trash piles are growing from Shelby Fayette counties to Tipton and Dyer counties. The company suddenly stopped servicing routes about three weeks ago.

"Once we called to try to figure out what was going on, we got a voicemail," said Constance O'Neil of Millington. "There was no letter, no nothing to let us know what happened, but they were still receiving payments."

In the Chapel Hill area of Millington, residents want answers to why the trucks have stopped rolling. On the other side of town, longtime ABC Waste customer Vern Hamm says something didn't smell right six months ago, when ABC first started missing trash pick-ups.

"It's nothing but a rip off," Hamm said. "They just slip shucked the public. They got their money and left town."

That's exactly what happened. When FOX13 News went to ABC Waste's offices we saw the notice on the door saying the company was out of business. We were told the owner, a man named Larry O'Hara,  was out of town.

We tracked him down in Utah. O'Hara told us financial tough times forced him to shut down the business May 5.

"There's nothing bad about people going out of business if they can't make it, but they ought to give people notice that they're going to go out, so you can make other arrangements," Hamm said.

With trash piling up, Hamm has made other arrangements with another waste management company. For the thousands of other ABC Waste customers, although it stinks, they'll also have to make other arrangements to get their trash picked up.

They have to wonder if their payments will be refunded.

O'Hara released a statement to FOX13 News addressing the shutdown and refunds for customers who paid their bills but got no service.

"I want to return their money to them. The checks they're sending now are going to be returned, not cashed. The plan is to get everybody their money back."

Two other companies are stepping in to clean up ABC's mess. All American Waste Management has stepped in to pick up commercial customers while J&J Waste is stepping in to pick up some of the residential customers who have been snubbed by ABC Waste.

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