A Smashing Victory…and Then Some
- A countywide Recycling Task Force to educate municipalities and residents to “Stop the throw-away lifestyle we are hooked on” (7-1/2 pounds of trash per person daily). As an outgrowth of Benson’s task force, Dade County now has the largest curbside recycling program in the United States – 265,000 homes.
- Subsequently, the Metro-Dade Environmental Awareness Advisory Task Force was created with the help of County Commissioner (Sen.) Sherman S. Winn. Chaired by Benson since its inception, it emphasizes improving indoor air quality. Its major recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners have been to eliminate smoking in all county vehicles and facilities (including the air and sea ports), establish an Integrated Pest Management program, conduct lead testing in all county facilities and the creation of an annual Lead Awareness Week to alert citizens of steps to eliminate exposure to this toxin; abolish use of legal size paper, procure two-sided copiers, and establish a “Buy recycled products” policy.
As a member of a Citizens’ Advisory Committee to the County Hospital Trust Board, Benson got a similar “Environmental Awareness Task Force” working there with corresponding results at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the largest hospital in the Southeast.