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EJ Harrison

Working Together for a Better Environment
Harrison Helps Kids in Ventura County & Carpinteria

Picture: Myron Harrison (middle) joins Mark Lisagor (left) and Harry Glass as lifetime members of the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club.

Co-founder E.J. Harrison always had a soft spot for kids.He felt that it was important to pass on strong values like a good work ethic and love of family and county to young people, so that they could grow up to be responsible citizens and good parents. Hence, he became a Scout Leader. Harrison Industries continues in this tradition by actively supporting organizations that help children, including the Boys and Girls Clubs in several cities in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Camarillo ‘Bids for Kids’ Auction
So we can imagine how proud E.J., who passed away in 1991 at age 82, would have been when the Camarillo Boys and Girls Club honored him on the 100th anniversary of his birth (March 1, 1909) during its annual “Bids for Kids” live and silent auction on April 18. Attendees received a souvenir program detailing E.J.’s inspiring story, about how he founded his company in 1932 during the Great Depression by fashioning a truck from several car bodies and hauling his neighbors’

trash to local dumps. Harrison’s young wife Myra, who is now 94, helped with the books.

Seventy-seven years later, Harrison Industries is one of the oldest and largest privately owned trash collection businesses in the United States. E.J. Harrison & Sons is a Corporate Sponsor of the Camarillo Boys and Girls Club, which also used the occasion to award Vice President Myron Harrison, with a lifetime membership.

Close to two dozen Harrison family members attended the event at the Las Posas Country Club which raised $50,000 for the club whose mission is to provide a safe, structured environment for kids during after school hours, and to offer programs that inspire them during their important growing years.

Carpinteria Clubhouse Auction
More than 350 people, including a table full of Harrison family members, also were on hand to help raise approximately $90,000 for the Carpinteria Boys and Girls Club at its 25th Carpinteria Clubhouse Auction on May 16. The “Bids for Kids” portion of the live auction alone raised $20,000 for the club’s scholarship program. Harrison Industries’ Nan Drake and Patti Harrison, meanwhile, returned home with truck loads of beautiful plants they purchased from the auction.

Ventura Garden Party Fundraiser
E.J. Harrison & Sons is a “Power of One” partner of the Boys and Girls Club of Ventura, which threw its 16th annual Garden Party at the Pierpont Inn on April 26. About 230 guests enjoyed food and drink from over 30 local restaurants, bakeries, confectioners and wineries. The event also included a silent auction featuring a variety of items and baskets, as well as art from local artists and club kids. In all, about $31,000 was raised. Santa Clara Valley ‘Taste of the Valley’ Event

Santa Clara Valley Disposal was the major sponsor of the fourth annual Taste of the Valley event on May 24 that raised $30,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley. More than 150 local food and wine lovers, including several members of the Harrison family, enjoyed the festivities held in the courtyard at Fillmore City Hall. The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley serves over 5,000 children, from Santa Paula to Piru.

Help Save the Planet by Recycling

Recycling is a great way to fight global warming because garbage in landfills produces methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas that endangers air quality. Water quality issues are also helped when less waste goes into our landfills. Recycling also prolongs the life of landfills, thus saving us from having to site and permit new ones.

By recycling, you’re also helping to slow down the rate at which natural resources are cut down and mined, and that leaves more habitat and food for wildlife. So, fill up your recycling and tan yard waste containers, but also do your best to keep unrecyclable trash out of them. KEEP THEM CLEAN and FULL! It all ties together – We are one planet and one small deed like recycling can change the world.

Here’s what you can place in your blue recyclables container at home and white or unicycling bin at work: aluminum and metal cans; newspapers, magazines and junk mail; paper and cardboard; glass containers; plastic bottles and containers; and all hard plastics, including nursery pots, yogurt containers and toys. Please, no Styrofoam, film plastic or plastic bags.

Here’s what you can place in your tan yard waste container: yard trimmings; small branches, scrap lumber; grass and leaves. Please, no garden hoses, manure, plastic bags, yucca or palm tree leaves, dirt or rocks, trash or flower pots.

Got electronic waste, like an old computer, television or microwave oven? Please, do not throw them in the trash! Many contain toxic materials. Instead, bring your e-waste – including stereos, fax machines, radio VCRs and DVD players, cell phones and printers – to Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station for safe e-waste disposal, free of charge. Gold Coast Recycling is at 5275 Colt Street in Ventura. Hours are 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

And what do you do about hazardous waste, like oil and paints, cleaning solvents and pesticides, fluorescent light bulbs and tubes and old batteries? Do not place them in your green trash or your recyclable and yard waste bins.

For information on how to dispose of hazardous waste, call:

  • Camarillo – 987-0717
  • Carpinteria – 684-5405, ext. 445
  • Fillmore – 524-1500, ext. 227
  • Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks – 1-800-41-TRASH
  • Ojai – 658-4343 or 640-2560
  • Santa Paula – 658-4323 or 987-0717
  • Ventura – 652-4525
  • Unincorporated areas of Ventura County – 987-0717.
Drake Makes Pac Biz Times’ ‘Top 50 Women in Business’ List
Nan Drake, community relations director for Harrison Industries, has been named again as one of the Top 50 Women in Business in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties by the Pacific Coast Business Times.

Drake is the voice of one of the largest family-owned trash-hauling companies in the United States. She also represents Gold Coast Recycling and Agromin. Her tireless commitment to recycling has made Ventura County the most lauded and praised county in California. The California Integrated Waste Management Board frequently cites Ventura County as an excellent example to follow in recycling.

Drake launched and named the “Trash Flash” recycling newsletters, which are published for the various cities served by Harrison. She served on the California Integrated Waste Management Board and helped gain approval for the establishment of Gold Coast Recycling, one of the first major recycling centers in California. She also served on the Ventura City Council when Ventura established the first citywide recycling program in the county.

Drake has a 35-year record of public service in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, both in the private and public sectors. She is a former board member of the Salvation Army; the Community Memorial Hospital Foundation; Ventura County Medical Center; Ventura Friends of the Library; the Ventura Council on Economic Vitality; the executive committee of the Workforce Investment Board (it oversees all of the federal and state funding for the welfare and work programs in Ventura County); and she is a past president of the Assistance League of Ventura County.

Drake currently serves as an advisory board member to the Ventura Music Festival. She also sits on the advisory board of the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance, a group that is working to find ways to cut energy costs and to pave the way to an energy-sustainable Ventura County. And, Drake is a board member of the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA).

Her community service doesn’t end there. Drake is the president-elect of the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, and in 2008 she served as co-chair of the Santa Clara Valley Boys & Girls Club Auction.

Drake was elected to the Ventura City Council in 1985 and served until 1990. She became involved in environmental issues in 1986, when serving as a board member of the Ventura County Regional Sanitation District. In 1988 she was appointed to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board by Gov. George Deukmejian, where she served as Chair and was reappointed by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1991.

Agromin Products are Great for Your Garden

Picture: CEO Bill Camarillo’s company Agromin converts yard waste into organic mulches and soil amendents.

Summer is finally here. What better way to enjoy the sunshine than to tend to your garden! As those of you who have green thumbs know – and even those of you who don’t – you will find a wide variety of soil products in local nurseries and home improvement centers. But not all soil products are alike. Harrison Industries knows you want only what’s best for your garden, so look for the Agromin label.

Agromin bagged and bulk products are unique. You know all those grass clippings, tree branches and leaves that you place in your brown green waste container? For the past 16 years, our trucks have transported them to California Wood Recycling, which uses cutting edge technology to convert the green waste materials into Agromin’s organic mulches, compost, wood chips and other products that naturally fertilize plants and trees.

Agromin has more than 240 premium soil products and sells them at 41 retail locations in Ventura County and throughout Southern California, as well as its new headquarters in Oxnard, at 201 Kinetic Drive.

Buying Agromin products is a win-win-win situation for you, the local economy and the environment:

  • They are good for you because you are buying the best.
  • They are good for the local economy because Agromin employs local men and women, and all processing takes place in Ventura County.
  • They are good for the environment because Agromin products are manufactured from yard waste, thus saving valuable space in landfills, reducing greenhouse gasses and completing the recycling loop.

"At Agromin, our goal is to create innovative means to support and advance environmental sustainability,” said Bill Camarillo, Agromin’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our customers, whether they are farmers, landscapers or weekend gardeners, help us in these efforts by using products from recycled green materials."

Agromin is gaining a growing reputation as one of the top soil-product manufacturers in the United States. In January, it earned the “Composter of the Year” award from the U.S. Composting Council at the USCC’s 17th annual conference held in Houston. Also, Agromin recently received the Environmental Business Journal’s 2008 “Bronze Achievement Award” in San Diego for its work in waste and recycling services.

In addition to its retail locations, you can order Agromin products online at For more information, call 1-800-AGROMIN (247-6646).

Harrison Covers Safety Issues in Monthly Classes

Picture: Ken Keyes (right) explains to Driver Trainer Raul Navarro
the correct way to make a right turn.

Harrison Industries is a firm believer in the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That is why every month, our drivers and mechanics attend a monthly driver safety class to remind them that a little precaution goes a long way in preventing accidents.

“We stress defensive driving, but we also cover a lot of other topics like changes in the law and reviewing previous accidents so that they don’t happen again,” said Harrison Industries Risk Manager Ken Keyes. “I use film, PowerPoint, whatever I have to cover a topic.”

Keyes sets aside a three-day block each month to conduct his classes.

The 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. classes at Harrison’s Saticoy yard on Tuesdays and Thursdays are for route drivers, while the 7 a.m. class is for mechanics and other shop personnel. Keyes conducts his classes at Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station on Wednesday.

“Now that it’s summer, I remind them to watch for heat stress and heat stroke and to always keep hydrated,” Keyes said. “Also, kids are out of school right now, so I tell them to watch out for them. Garbage trucks are magnets for kids.” “Basically,” Keyes added, “the classes are a great reminder to be careful.”



Nan Drake signature
Nan Drake
Harrison Industries

phone: 805-701-9809