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EJ Harrison

Working Together for a Better Environment
Harrison Earns Top Statewide Recycling Award

Picture: From the left are Bridgett Luther, director of the California Department of Conservation; Harrison Vice President Jim Harrison; Harrison spokeswoman Nan Drake; and Jacy Bolden, CRRA awards chairwoman.

E.J. Harrison & Sons has been honored for having the state’s Outstanding Recycling Program for 2007 by the California Resource Recovery Association. Jim Harrison, company vice president, accepted the award at the CRRA’s 31st state conference, held July 29 to Aug. 1 in San Pedro. The award goes annually to the business, government agency, community-based organization or school in the state that has excelled in implementing and carrying out a recycling and/or diversion program.

“We were proud and honored to receive this very prestigious award, especially coming from a group of professionals in the industry,” Harrison said. “Our parents created this company 75 years ago based on ‘Service First,’ and we are very happy that we have been able to create a recycling system that works so well. People want to do the right thing; we just need to make sure that it is easy for them to make the right choice – to recycle.”

Harrison was cited for the unique partnerships it has established with Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, California Wood Recycling as well as with the six cities and surrounding unincorporated areas of Ventura County and the City of Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County the company serves to keep recyclable materials, yard waste and household hazardous waste out of local landfills “The City of Ventura is proud to partner with the Harrisons in developing recycling programs that are pace-setters in the state,” Ventura Councilman Brian Brennan said.

Harrison was among the first refuse companies in California to offer its 80,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers with comprehensive curbside recycling service. In 2002, it became the first – and remains the only – refuse company in the state to offer “unicycling” for its business and multi-family customers that do not generate enough waste to fill both a trash and recycling bin each week. In addition, Harrison implemented its own construction and demolition recycling program – sorting materials like asphalt, concrete, corrugated cardboard, glass, gypsum, red clay brick and wood waste to be recycled into a number of useful products – before “C&D” programs were mandated by state law. The company also offers multi-family recycling in all apartment and condominium complexes it serves.

As a result, all Harrison franchise clients have surpassed the recycling mandates of Assembly Bill 939, the 1989 state law that requires each city and county in the state to cut the amount of solid waste they send to landfills in half. While the statewide average currently stands at 52 percent, cities served by Harrison have the following diversion rates: Ventura (66 percent), Fillmore and Carpinteria (60 percent), Camarillo and Thousand Oaks (56 percent) and Ojai (53 percent). “The efforts and work that E.J. Harrison & Sons has done to promote and carry out recycling programs certainly have made a difference,” said Jacy Bolden, CRRA awards chairwoman.

E.J. Harrison & Sons, celebrating its 75th anniversary, is one of the oldest and largest privately owned trash collection businesses in the United States. Myra Harrison, who turned 92 in February, remains with the company as founder. Her oldest son Ralph is president while her other sons Jim and Myron serve as vice presidents.

The CRRA, founded in 1974, is a statewide nonprofit organization with over 500 members who are dedicated to promoting waste reduction, reuse, recycling, pollution prevention and composting. Other 2007 CRRA award winners include: the City of San Fernando (Outstanding Organics Program), the City of Cathedral City (Outstanding Waste Prevention Program) and the County of Santa Clara (Outstanding Household Hazardous Waste and Electronic Waste Program).

Camarillo Art & Jazz Festival

Harrison Industries is proud to be a major sponsor and also provide trash and recycling collection service for the 2007 Camarillo Art and Jazz Festival that was held Aug. 10-12, attracting over 12,000 art and music lovers. More than 100 artists and several musicians came together for the popular three-day event to celebrate their crafts and raise money for nonprofit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo, the Camarillo Arts Council and Studio Channel Islands Art Center.

The benefit opened with a free jazz concert at Constitution Park on Friday, followed by musical performances and other events on Saturday. On Sunday, rhythm & blues, jazz and contemporary vocalist Christine Day performed at the historic Camarillo Ranch. Art Walks were held in downtown Camarillo on Saturday and Sunday. The Camarillo Art and Jazz Festival promised to be an indulgence for the eyes, the ears and the soul, and it succeeded.

Harrison Helps with Renovations of Senior Citizens’ Homes

This summer, Harrison Industries joined forces with other local businesses and volunteers to renovate the homes of two financially -strapped elderly women. In June, Harrison helped to give the dilapidated West Ventura home of a 91-year-old widow a badly needed “extreme makeover.”

Dry rot and termite damage were prevalent in Reva Mae Watkins’ home, which also needed a new roof. The front and backyards were badly overgrown. While more than a dozen local electricians, sheet-metal workers and building companies volunteered their skills and materials to give Watkins’ home a face-lift inside and out, Harrison chipped in by providing a trash bin and free trash collection service.

The Ventura City Council honored Harrison and the other volunteers for their participation at its Aug. 6 meeting. Company Vice President Jim Harrison accepted a certification of recognition on behalf of Harrison Industries from City Council Jim Monahan. Monahan spearheaded the “Reva Mae Watkins/Barnett Street Westside Community Home Improvement Project” at the request of his daughter, Patty Monahan-Holstrom, a caregiver and friend of Watkins, who is blind in one eye and bound to a wheelchair.

The two-week project went so well, Monahan has talked to city staff about creating a program that would waive permit fees for similar volunteer-driven rehabilitation projects throughout Ventura. “We’re hoping to do this again,” Monahan said. “I am sure there is a home in distress in every neighborhood.”

Harrison also donated the use of a commercial trash bin as well as free collection services for “The Olive Community Project,” an undertaking by Rev. Jim Duran’s River Community that started in July. Members of the non-denominational church in Ventura volunteered their time and sought donations from local businesses to help a woman named Olive rebuild her home after it was “yellow-tagged” as a fire re hazard by the Ventura Fire Department.

After repairs to the home were finished , River Community members helped Olive put on a yard sale in September so she could make a few bucks from a large number of unneeded items she had accumulated over the years. It’s inspiring to learn about stories like these, of community members rallying to the aid of senior citizens in need. Harrison Industries was honored to be part of them.

Harrison Partner Agromin Earns Pac Biz Times Award

Picture: From left are Henry Dubroff, editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times; Agromin’s Bill Camarillo; Alberto Alvarado of the Small Business Administration; Judy Diaz of TW-IW Insurance Services; and Julie Foreman of Pacific Capital Bank.

EJ Harrison & Son congratulates its recycling business partner Agromin for being selected the 2007 “Spirit of Small Business” winner for West Ventura County by the Pacific Coast Business Times. Agromin was honored during the newspaper’s fifth annual Spirit of Small Business Awards Luncheon on Aug. 16 at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara. Parker, the hotelier, winery owner and successful entrepreneur who is also famous for television portrayals of American icons Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, was keynote speaker. Accepting the award was Bill Camarillo, president and CEO of Agromin.

The selection criteria was based on the company’s success record as a business, its history of creating jobs, consistent growth and its contribution to the community. Agromin is the green waste recycler for 19 cities in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, turning approximately 250,000 tons of green waste each year into a variety of soil products including soil amendments, mulches and bark.

Local farmers use Agromin soil products in their orchards and fields . The result is up to 30 percent less water evaporation as well as less soil erosion and less use of herbicides for weed control. Do-it-yourselfers and professional landscapers use Agromin soil material in bulk and bagged products. Agromin soil can be found in schools, museums and public gardens. It provides soil to urban planting nonprofits including TreePeople in Los Angeles.

“Each ton of green waste we can keep out of a landfill through recycling is one ton of waste that will not produce greenhouse gases,” says Bill Camarillo, president and CFO of Agromin. “California cities are mandated by law to divert up to 50 percent of their waste from landfills That percentage is scheduled to increase. Agromin is positioning itself to help cities abide by tougher environmental standards. We’re honored that Agromin is being recognized not only as a successful company, but as a company helping communities be better stewards of the environment.

Congratulations for a job well done! It takes teamwork to put together recycling programs that are easily followed by residents and businesses that guarantee success. This award belongs to all of the people who have participated in the recycling programs. We, along with Agromin, salute them.

Harrison Gets in the Swing of Benefit Golf Tournament

Picture: On the left, Vice President Myron Harrison and Controller Mike Marostica partake in the Boys and Girls Club of Ventura’s annual Golf Classic tournament.

Harrison Industries Vice President Myron Harrison, Controller Mike Marostica and Assistant Controller Phil Campos took their hacks for a good cause on Aug. 13. They were among the 131 participants who put their golf skills to the test at the 24th annual Boys and Girls Club of Ventura Golf Classic at Saticoy Country Club. Joining Harrison, Marostica and Campos in their foursome was Steve Shinsky of Mid- State Bank & Trust.

Harrison is also a major sponsor of the benefit event that raised $62,000 to help fund much-needed after-school and summer programs for our local boys and girls.

Turning Point Salutes Champions of Mental Health

Picture: Courtesy photo - from the left are Ventura Councilman Jim Monahan and Jim Harrison of Harrison Industries join honorees Norma Lagomarsino, former Rep. Robert Lagomarsino and Ventura Police Chief Pat Miller at the Turning Point Foundation’s honoring Champions of Mental Health.

From staff reports, Ventura County Star, Thursday, August 23, 2007

Turning Point Foundation held its first event honoring local Champions of Mental Health on June 16 at the Ventura Beach Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Those honored were:

  • Former Rep. Robert Lagomarsino — support of legislation pertaining to mental illness.
  • Norma Lagomarsino — years of outstanding and dedicated volunteer work on behalf of the mentally ill.
  • Michael and Donna Christine McGuire of Affinity Bank — support of mentally ill programs and compassion for the homeless and mentally ill.
  • Margot Martin, a volunteer — tireless efforts on behalf of Turning Point Foundation and its clients over the past eight years.
  • Kevin Clerici of the Ventura County Star — giving the issue of homelessness a human face.
  • Ventura County Community Foundation — providing grants to Turning Point Foundation and other organizations to support programs for the mentally ill.
  • Hugh Ralston, chief executive officer of the Ventura County Community Foundation — establishing the Mental Health Initiative as CEO of the Community Foundation.
  • Ventura County Crisis Intervention Team — commitment to training police officers in how to deal appropriately with the mentally ill and citizens in crisis.
  • Ventura Police Chief Pat Miller — leadership in bringing the crisis intervention team program to Ventura County.

Turning Point Foundation is a community-based nonprofit organization serving Ventura County residents disabled by mental illness.



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