Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine


E.L. Harvey & Sons co-founder leaves legacy behind

Robert Emory Harvey, one of the original founders of Massachusetts-based E.L. Harvey & Sons, died on Aug. 30. He was 95.

Robert Emory Harvey, one of the original founders of Massachusetts-based E.L. Harvey & Sons, died on Aug. 30. He was 95.

A lifelong resident of Westborough, Massachusetts, Harvey was the son of company patriarch Emory L. Harvey, and worked at E.L. Harvey until 2004, when he retired as the company’s president.

Robert Harvey - President Emeritus“Bob was an original founder in our company and leader in our industry but never wanted the accolades,” said Ellen Harvey, Bob’s daughter-in-law and VP of E.L. Harvey & Sons. “He was just a hard-working man who loved what he did. He was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed.”

Born in Westborough in 1919, Harvey graduated high school in 1936. When he completed his studies at Cornell University in 1941, he committed all his time to the family business.

A devoted recycler, Harvey found ways to remove numerous commodities from the waste stream that came into the Harvey facility and worked to market much of the product in the early years. He worked to establish waste-handling procedures that enabled the company to reduce the amount of unrecovered recyclable material. The innovations he introduced are now mandated by state law.

Harvey is survived by sons William and Ben Harvey and daughter Dorothy Thompson. His eldest son, Robert, Jr., died in 1984. Ben Harvey serves on the NW&RA Board of Trustees.

Harvey served as a deputy sheriff for Worcester County, and was active in the Rotary Club of Westborough and local chambers of commerce. He was involved in community events and volunteer work.

He was the oldest living member of the Westborough Congregational Church and a member of the Siloam Lodge of Masons, Order of Scottish Rite Bodies Valley of Worcester and Valley of Boston, and the Allepo Shrine. He was a past member of the National DCA, NASWA Washington, DC.; Board of Directors Westborough Historical Society; Board of Directors Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce; Round Table: Thursday Club; Rotary Club of Westborough; and Westborough Militia. Robert was animal inspector for the Town of Westborough from 1947 to 1990.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Saturday, September 6, from 2 to 4 and 5 to 7 P.M. at the Rand-Harper-Pickering Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main St., Westborough.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

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1 Comment » for E.L. Harvey & Sons co-founder leaves legacy behind
  1. John Arwood says:

    I am sorry to hear that we have lost such a great leader. He paved a new way on how to recycle today.

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