Wednesday is not the regular garbage pick-up day at Ed Tarpley’s house on North 12th Street, but special circumstances applied this week.
On Monday, Drew Vice, a Pekin firefighter who owns the local dumpster business Dragon Dumps, dumped at least two tons of building material waste and other junk on Tarpley’s driveway.
Vice came back two days later to pick it up.
Tarpley, 61, said he also received visits at his home at 912 N. 12th from a state Environmental Protection Agency official and another from the Tazewell County Health Department.
Then came an early afternoon phone call from the City Police Department.
“They told me (Vice) was on his way and he’d be there in 10 minutes,” Tarpley said.
Those events came after Tarpley filed a complaint with police on Monday and news stories revealed the dumpster dumping as part of a business feud between Vice and Tarpley and his son, Chad, owner of C&T Siding and Construction of Pekin.
As Vice watched three workers and a mini-excavator clean the driveway, he declined to comment on what, or who, prompted him to retrieve the waste he’d left on Tarpley’s property.
He said Tuesday that he dumped the waste into Tarpley’s driveway because a home siding business run by Tarpley’s son, and which Tarpley once owned, was months late in paying dumpster rental bills amounting to about $2,550. He was returning garbage he said the Tarpleys, in effect, still owned, Vice said.
Any repercussions for his act would be “a civil matter,” Vice said. A police department spokesman agreed Monday, but said the report taken from Tarpley’s complaint would be referred to the county State’s Attorney’s Office.
While State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz did not comment Wednesday on the case, he noted that a state law “clearly provides that a person cannot dump garbage on another person’s property without their consent.”
Police Deputy Chief Don Baxter said he and Chief John Dossey met Wednesday morning to discuss the case, as Umholtz said he did with the city attorney.
Within hours, Vice was picking up the garbage.
In the context of a criminal case, Tarpley’s argument that he’s no longer officially connected with C&T Siding and thus is not liable for its unpaid bills may not matter.
Chad Tarpley said he won’t pay Vice anything in the wake of Vice’s action against his father. Ed Tarpley also faced a potential city fine if he didn’t remove the trash from his property in a timely fashion.
That scenario changed when Vice returned Wednesday with his workers and one of his Dragon Dumps dumpsters.
What happens next in the business feud, and in court, is yet to unfold. For now, however, Tarpley was smiling Wednesday.
“The garbage is gone,” he said. “I’m happy.”
The Peoria Journal Star also contributed to this article.
Follow Michael Smothers at Twitter.com/msmotherspekin