Ralph Harrison Dead at 89

Ralph Harrison Dead at 89

Local corporate leader was eldest son of pioneering family that
first brought trash collection and recycling to Ventura County


VENTURA, California – Local business and philanthropic icon Ralph Harrison has died. The longtime president of E.J. Harrison & Sons trash collection company died on Saturday of natural causes, his family announced. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Ralph was born in Ventura on Nov. 14, 1934, to E.J. and Myra Harrison, who founded Harrison Industries nearly 92 years ago, in 1932. Ralph later bought a ranch in Bardsdale, where he last lived.

The eldest of the Harrisons’ three sons, Ralph joined the family business in 1963 and watched it grow from a relatively small local company to the major corporation it is today. Working with local community partners at Gold Coast Recycling and Agromin, Harrison Industries currently serves 90,000 residential and commercial customers throughout Ventura County and in Carpinteria, in Santa Barbara County.

As corporate president, Ralph was in charge of Harrison’s fleet operations, the maintenance and service departments and inventory controls and he headed up an extensive research and development department. Most of Harrison Industries’ innovations are due to Ralph’s ingenuity and he held many patents.


Ralph’s son Lynn Ralph Harrison, a longtime Harrison employee, took over his father’s responsibilities eight months ago and will continue to do so. Ralph’s brothers, Jim and Myron, also will continue to run the business.

In addition to his leadership at Harrison Industries, Ralph was well known throughout the Ventura County community. He was longtime president of the Ventura County Waste Disposal Association, which was formed in the early 1970s by his father, and also served on the California Refuse Recycling Council. As a member of these and other professional trash/recycling organizations, Ralph attended many trash industry seminars and conferences throughout the United States and Canada. He was active in other ways in his community, as well. Among his many affiliations, he was a longtime board member of the Ventura County Fair Foundation.

Ralph along with his brothers gave generously over the years to countless community organizations and causes. Among their most notable donations, the Harrisons made the largest contribution to the building of the new Community Memorial Hospital, and the Ventura Boys & Girls Club has a clubhouse in Saticoy because of Ralph and his brothers’ generosity. The Santa Clara Valley Boys & Girls Club was also very close to Ralph’s heart, as were local 4-H clubs, to whom he often donated livestock to raise.

E.J. Harrison Industries Earns New County Agreements

E.J. Harrison Industries Earns New County Agreements

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has chosen E.J. Harrison & Sons, Inc. to provide residential waste collection in most of the county’s unincorporated areas after a long, thorough selection process.

The board at its May 16 meeting approved the county Public Works Agency’s recommendation to choose Harrison to serve three of the county’s four unincorporated zones.

Supervisor Jeff Gorell praised Harrison’s local roots and community involvement since its founding 91 years ago and made the motion to approve the staff recommendation. Gorell said Harrison “has a reputation for excellence and for service, and they are so connected to the community.”

Board Chairman Matt LaVere seconded the motion, and the board passed it unanimously. “I don’t know that there is another business in this entire county that gives more back to the community it serves,” LaVere said.

Harrison was chosen for the northern zone that includes the Rincon, unincorporated areas of Ventura and the Ojai Valley, and the remote northeastern part of the county; the central zone of unincorporated areas around Santa Paula, Fillmore, Camarillo and Oxnard; and the southwest zone between Thousand Oaks, Point Mugu and the ocean. Athens Services, Inc. won the fourth zone, which includes unincorporated areas around Moorpark, Simi Valley and east Thousand Oaks.

The new residential solid waste collection agreements will begin Jan. 1, 2024, and run for 10 years, with options for two 5-year extensions. Final details still need to be worked out and approved by the board, possibly on June 20.

5 Earth Day Tips for Reducing Food Waste

5 Earth Day Tips for Reducing Food Waste

   With the passing of Senate Bill 1383 (SB 1383), food waste recycling and recovery has been a hot topic. This Earth Day, we wanted to spotlight the 5 best tips for reducing food waste and how to practice dedicated food recovery programs. If you’re inspired to join EJ Harrison’s food recycling mission to help reduce your carbon footprint but don’t know where to start, these simple techniques and tips are aimed at helping you reduce your food waste at home and find creative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle your favorite foods.

  1. Meal Prep. Cook in Bulk and Freeze your Leftovers.

The issue with large batching your meals is the monotony of eating the same meals over and over again. We suggest choosing easy to customize recipes during reheating. Soup, noodle and rice dishes are good options that can be spiced up in many different and unique ways.

2. Use individual storage containers for easy packs and go lunches for you and your family.

The convenience and comfort of grabbing your own homemade lunch thats ready to go is unmatched, not to mention cutting your food costs from eating at restaurants.

3. Use leftover vegetable scraps to make your own homemade stocks.

Zucchini, carrots, celery and other root vegetables can be boiled with other scraps like bones to make delicious homemade stocks.

4. Add leftover meats to your favorite salad, wrap or stir-fry.

Make your salad a complete, nutritious meal by adding leftover meats.


5. Recycle your food waste and scraps at home.

Harrison has a simple, 4 step program for recycling your food waste. 

  1. Collect food waste in a clear plastic bag.
  2. Clean your scraps by removing any stickers, twist ties or rubberbands that can’t be recycled.
  3. Store food waste in a proper receptacle.
  4. Dispose of your food waste by placing your tied off bag into your yard waste cart for pick-up.

Learn More: Food Waste Recycling & Senate Bill 1383

Earth Day EcoFest 2023 with Ventura Charter School

Earth Day EcoFest 2023 with Ventura Charter School

As proud Sponsors for this year’s Ventura EcoFest, we invite you to join us for Earth Day EcoFest on Sunday, April 16th, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Ventura Charter School Campus! This free event is fun for the whole family.

Ventura Charter School’s annual Earth Day EcoFest has grown each year since it began in 2007 and draws thousands of visitors who come to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors in celebration of Mother Earth, life, and green living. In addition to providing engaging entertainment, we are committed to help kindle awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment, as well as provide a showcase for local businesses engaged in green technologies and approaches to sustainable living. Ventura Charter School is proud to have received the “Globie” award from the City of Ventura two years in a row for Community Activism for our involvement and support of the environment.


Environmental Education at Ventura Charter School focuses on environmental literacy– learning about and caring for the total environment, understanding how humans interact with and are dependent on natural ecosystems, and developing critical-thinking skills to resolve environmental issues. Stewardship of the earth is a fundamental tenant of the School vision. An awareness of the fragility of the ecosystems is crucial as well as the development of a strong sense of responsibility for protecting, preserving, and restoring the earth for future generations. To learn more about this year’s Earth Day EcoFest, visit Facebook Ventura Earth Day 


A fun day for the whole family!

  • Over 80 Eco-friendly Vendors
  • Live, Family-fun Entertainment & Music
  • Children’s Games and Activities
  • Low waste Food & Drinks
  • Raffle with prices worth thousands of dollars!

See more at www.venturacharterschool.org

Ventura City Council Honors Harrison

Ventura City Council Honors Harrison

– Written by Nan Drake –

It was a proud moment for us at the latest Ventura City Council meeting. The kind words flowed Nov. 14 as the council recognized E.J. Harrison & Sons and our 90th anniversary.

“They’ve been a part of our community now for many generations,” Councilman Doug Halter said, adding later, “The Harrisons are so exemplative of what a good business owner here in the city of Ventura is all about … their ethics, their values are something shared by many of us in Ventura.”

Numerous Harrison family members, along with myself, were on hand to accept a certificate of recognition and have our picture taken with Doug and Mayor Sofia Rubalcava. We played one of our videos about the company, and I later introduced Jim and Ralph Harrison before they spoke.

Jim told the council about how all the Harrison brothers grew up on “the Avenue,” about how the company now has more than 400 employees, and how we’re all excited about the future. “We love the town. We love the people in the town,” he said.

Ralph added, “It’s been a wonderful time, and we really appreciate the city continuing with us.”

I then spoke briefly, urging everyone to recycle their food waste and put their organics cart out at the curb every week, even if they only have food waste.

What a special night for us. “I hope your business is here for at least 90 more years,” Doug said, and I remarked later, “We are ready for tomorrow.”

You can view the presentation at youtube.com/watch?v=FVk-CVyqrV4, about 7 minutes and 40 seconds into the video.

Special 90th Anniversary Honors for Harrison

Special 90th Anniversary Honors for Harrison

It was a grand event May 19 at the Museum of Ventura County as the Pacific Coast Business Times honored Harrison Industries as Family-Owned Company of the Year during its 90th year in business.

With many dignitaries and Harrison business colleagues attending, it was a fun and rewarding night as the Harrison brothers saluted the past, present and future.

Introduced by Times Founder and Editor Henry Dubroff, the brothers thanked and gave credit to their parents, E.J. and Myra Harrison, who started the business in 1932 during the Depression. The couple discussed business and kept the books at the kitchen table, never dreaming that their one truck would one day grow into one of the largest family-owned trash companies in California.

The founders’ core values of “service is everything” and giving back to the community — not only by donating to local charities but also by serving on their boards — are alive and well. Another practice that never changed is salvaging anything that can be reused or sold. In the early days this helped the company survive, and today the same type of activities now occurs at Harrison’s Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station in Ventura.

Care for the environment and love of the land were taught to E.J. by his farming parents and passed down to his children. Today, this core value means creating new programs to promote sustainability and fight climate change.

Myron Harrison called Bill Camarillo, the CEO of Agromin, to the stage. The company was started by Bill and the Harrisons in 1993. They recognized early on the importance of recycling organic waste.

Today, many of the brothers’ children and grandchildren are involved in the business. Myron’s final comment was that while they are proud of Harrison’s generational roots, they’re just as excited about current projects such as the Limoneira Commercial Organics and Mountain View Food Waste recycling facilities. These projects help them keep their eyes on the future.

Also honored at the May 19 event were Jesus “Chuy” Loza, co-founder of Freska Produce, and the Deckers and Hardy Diagnostics companies. Much thanks to City National Bank and Wastequip for their sponsorships and wonderful full-page ads.

Holiday Trash Collection To Remain Unchanged

Holiday Trash Collection To Remain Unchanged

Trash collection schedule to remain unchanged for the Christmas and New Year holidays

With Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Saturday this holiday season, in the weeks before and after the holidays, trash, recyclables and green waste collection by Harrison Industries will not be delayed.

A full holiday schedule for 2021 and 2022 can be found here

Special holiday features offered

For two weeks after Christmas, from Monday, Dec. 27 through Saturday, Jan. 8, residents may put out twice the amount of trash at no extra charge. Please make sure the trash is in bags. Harrison will also collect extra recyclables, but customers are asked to flatten all boxes.

As another special holiday feature, Harrison is making it easy for customers to recycle their Christmas trees. All they need to do is remove the ornaments, hooks, lights, tinsel, bows, nails and tree stands, then cut the trees into sections no more than 4 feet long and place them in their yard waste carts on their scheduled pickup days. Flocked trees also can be recycled in the yard waste carts.

Harrison Industries serves the cities and surrounding unincorporated areas of Ventura, Ojai and Camarillo as well as the unincorporated areas of El Rio, Somis, Ojai Valley, the Channel Islands beach communities and the city of Carpinteria as E.J. Harrison and Sons; Fillmore and surrounding unincorporated areas as Santa Clara Valley Disposal; and unincorporated areas of Newbury Park as Newbury Disposal. 

EJ Harrison & Sons, Inc. Celebrates 90 Years in Business!

EJ Harrison & Sons, Inc. Celebrates 90 Years in Business!

VENTURA, California (Dec. 6, 2021) – Harrison Industries is celebrating a remarkable 90 years in business by ushering in a new era in recycling.

Founded in 1932, the local trash and recycling hauler and processor will take recycling to the next level in 2022, when it introduces weekly residential food waste recycling as well as a program to ramp up the commercial recycling of food and other organic waste.

Harrison officially kicked off its 90th anniversary on Friday, at the Ventura Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Connection Breakfast, which Harrison hosted at Four Points Sheraton at Ventura Harbor. With 10 members of the Harrison team in attendance, the company used the opportunity to share news and literature about the big changes ahead.

“Food waste recycling is coming, and soon,” said Harrison’s Nan Drake, who addressed the more than 100 local businesspeople at the event. “It’s great news for the Earth, and it’s a great time for us all to become better recyclers.”

Harrison was well received at the event, with many attendees lavishing praise on the company that’s been a solid fixture in the community. “I can’t believe Harrison is turning 90,” said Ashley Pope, membership development manager for the Ventura Chamber. “I grew up in Ventura, so I’ve never known a time without those green trucks – and those awesome, incredible drivers. I have literally never seen an unsafe truck or an unreliable driver. … Here’s to another 90 years!”

Harrison unveiled a new two-minute video at the event; created to honor its milestone anniversary, the video noted Harrison’s deep roots and philanthropy in the community but also looked ahead, to a consequential year that will affect all of its 90,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, as residential customers are asked to start bagging their food waste and placing it in their yard waste carts for weekly curbside pickup.

The food waste recycling program complies with California Senate Bill 1383. A highly ambitious measure, SB 1383 aims to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by greatly decreasing the landfilled organic waste that generates it. According to the bill, organic waste in 2025 must be cut to 75% of 2014 levels.

To accommodate the new law, Harrison has spent years working with its community partners Gold Coast Recycling and Agromin to build world-class facilities in Ventura County to process and reuse the food and other organic waste. “As we’ve always been, for 90 years now, we’re ready for what’s next,” Drake said at the Chamber event.

The Harrison team wrapped up the event with anniversary cake and a special gift to everyone in attendance: bags of organic potting soil from Agromin, delivered by company CEO Bill Camarillo.

Visit Harrison, Gold Coast and Agromin for more information on their services.

‘Small Footprints’ Recycling Events Set for May 1-2

‘Small Footprints’ Recycling Events Set for May 1-2

The vital importance of children learning to recycle and protect the environment, for their own future, is at the heart of a unique pair of family-oriented community events being sponsored by E.J. Harrison & Sons and hosted this weekend by the Museum of Ventura County.

“Small Footprints: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” is the theme of the simple, COVID-safe “Grab-and-Go” drive-thru events, which will begin both days at 10 a.m. – on Saturday, May 1, at the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula and on Sunday, May 2, at the main Museum of Ventura County in downtown Ventura. The events will end as soon as the museums’ fun grab bags have been given out, so anyone planning to attend is encouraged to arrive early.

Those attending on Saturday should drive by the front of the Agricultural Museum, along Santa Paula’s Railroad Avenue. Those attending on Sunday should enter the parking lot off Ventura’s East Santa Clara Street behind the Main Street museum. Parking attendants will help direct visitors.

Drive-thru visitors will receive gift bags that include fun and informative recycling-themed activities and coloring books; copies of “Mateo Learns About the Three Rs,” an inspiring booklet about one boy’s education in recycling; educational materials on the 3 Rs and what goes in your recycle carts; sustainability-themed recipes from Food Forward; and templates and entry details for the event’s big draw: a family contest to find Ventura County’s best home-crafted trash truck. The contest winner will get a scholarship for a weeklong LEGO Summer Camp.

“The Museum of Ventura County is grateful to have a long and meaningful relationship with E.J. Harrison,” said Eric Knight, development director for the museums, “and we’re honored to have this opportunity to once again work with the Harrison family, in bringing this message of sustainability to the public.”

We’re proud to be the main sponsor of these awesome youth-focused museum events. The future is our children and we need to educate them however we can about climate change and the importance of recycling.

We also are happy to announce that this “Small Footprints” event will kick off our yearlong celebration of Harrison’s 90th anniversary in business.

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