Ed Tarpley of Pekin turned his small home siding business over to his son eight years ago and said he takes no pay for the few “errands” he still runs for the concern.

That’s why Tarpley, 61, had no reason to expect someone would dump about two tons of discarded building materials and household junk on his driveway Monday morning.

It’s not junk as far as the garbage dumper is concerned. It’s just dues.

Because Tarpley arranged to rent dumpsters for C&T Siding & Construction, he’s a fair target in the private business feud, Drew Vice said Tuesday.

“Ed didn’t pay, so I returned his garbage to him,” said Vice, a Pekin firefighter who also owns Dragon Dumps, a dumpster rental business.

Chad Tarpley said he, not his father, owes the bill – $2,552.35 for five dumpster rentals since June, according to Vice. He didn’t reply when Vice “messaged” a payment demand to him Sunday.

In another message early Monday, “He said I had an hour to respond to him,” Chad Tarpley said. No reply came.

Ed Tarpley said he never heard from Vice before he returned from a mid-morning chore to find the huge trash pile on his driveway at 912 N. 12th St.

Later that day, Chad Tarpley said he received a texted video that recorded the dumping, along with a message:

“How do you turn your yard into a landfill? 1. Order a dumpster from Dragon Dumps. 2. Don’t pay your bill. 3. Don’t answer my phone calls,” Chad Tarpley recounted.

Now, as far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t owe Vice a dime.

“Even if I owed the guy $1 million, you can’t throw a dumpster of junk on somebody’s driveway and get away with it” without a crime charged, he said Tuesday.

According to the Pekin Police Department, you can.

The incident “is a civil matter,” said Public Information Officer Billie Ingles. “The bottom line is (the dumping) is on private property.

“The officer (who came when Ed Tarpley called) looked at the city ordinance on littering. It doesn’t fit. He looked at the state (law) on illegal dumping. It doesn’t fit,” Ingles said. “There’s a lot of things that turn into civil issues because the (city) ordinances just aren’t there” to define them as criminal or city code violations.

One city code, however, does apply in the case. With the trash heap still settling on his driveway, a city building inspector issued Ed Tarpley a notice Monday to remove it by Sept. 15 or face a fine of up to $500.

“We’ll give him more time if he needs it, as long as we see progress” in that work, said John Lebegue, city building inspections director.

Vice said he chose to “return” the junk rather than file a small claims court action against C&T Siding because he believes he’d receive no payment from the Tarpleys if he wins.

“I see what I did as no different than a bank repossessing a car,” Vice said. “If you don’t pay for the car, they take it back. If you don’t pay for garbage removal, you get the garbage back.”

The Tarpley’s found a problem with that logic. It’s not their trash, they said.

“Bottles, kids’ toys, garbage – it looks like somebody cleaned their house out,” while C&T last rented a dumpster from Vice about a month ago, Chad Tarpley said.

“What difference does it make?” asked Vice. “The way I figure it, I still owe them some.”

Chad Tarpley said he’ll clean his father’s driveway before any more trouble comes from the city, pay to dump the trash legally, then pursue Vice in civil court for the costs involved.

“He’ll be wasting his money,” Vice said. “None of this would’ve happened if he just paid his bill.”

Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin