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Commingled Conversation: Ben Harvey

A light-hearted Q&A with the executive vice president and part-owner of E.L. Harvey & Sons.

An executive vice president and one of the owners of Westborough, Mass.-based E.L. Harvey & Sons Inc., Ben Harvey has enjoyed a distinguished 40-year career in the solid waste industry. Among many other achievements, he is a past president of both the Eastern Paper Mills Association and the Waste Recyclers Council of the National Solid Wastes Management Association. He also is on the boards of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and the Detachable Container Association. This month at WasteExpo in Dallas, he will be inducted into the Environmental Industry Associations’ Hall of Fame. So, what’s this Hall of Famer’s idea of a perfect day? What’s his favorite movie? What’s the most adventurous thing he’s ever done? Read our lighthearted Q&A to find out.

Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?

Harvey: Preventable mistakes. When people make mistakes they shouldn’t make, whether it’s in life or business, that upsets me.

Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?

Harvey: Spending time with family and friends.

Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Harvey: Your word is your bond.

Waste Age: What was the last book you read?

Harvey: “Dead or Alive” by Tom Clancy.

Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?

Harvey: “The Fighter.”

Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?

Harvey: Now that “24” is off the air, I watch a lot of sports.

Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Harvey: Beatles.

Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?

Harvey: A diamond necklace.

Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?

Harvey: Beach.

Waste Age: What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Harvey: My wife and two kids: Ellen, BJ and Glenn.

Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?

Harvey: Can I invite four? My grandparents so they could see the legacy that they helped create, in family and in business.

Waste Age: If you weren’t an executive vice president of E.L. Harvey & Sons, what would you like to be?

Harvey: Coach, football or basketball.

Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?

Harvey: New England Patriots.

Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Harvey: As Yoda said, “May the Force be with you.” It may help my golf game if I could will the ball into the cup.

Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

Harvey: Crossed the United States and back on a motorcycle after graduating from college. No tent, little money — but I still have great memories.

Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about? Harvey: I sang in a local chorus and performed in a variety of musicals.

If you have suggestions for future interviewees, send us an e-mail at [email protected].

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