Petition to phase out gas powered leaf blowers

If you are concerned about the air and noise pollution caused by gas powered leaf blowers in Maplewood, this is your chance to let the Township Committee know how you feel.  Please read and sign the petition.

Hundreds have signed in just a few days.

To read more, visit www.QuietMaplewood.com


What does this petition ask the town to do? It doesn’t specify.


ridski said:

What does this petition ask the town to do? It doesn’t specify.

 It’s a petition to permanently ban gas powered leaf blowers. In 2017 maplewood banned the leaf-blowers during the summer months. 


Jaytee said:

 It’s a petition to permanently ban gas powered leaf blowers. In 2017 maplewood banned the leaf-blowers during the summer months. 

 That ban only concerns yard maintenance companies and excludes personal gas powered leaf blowers and for some reason Maplewood Country Club. The petition doesn’t state that it’s about making that permanent. It says it’s about banning all gas powered leaf blowers. It also only mentions battery powered leaf blowers as an alternative, and says nothing about my electric plug in leaf blower.


I clicked on the highlighted word petition https://chng.it/5t6zCCYm8P


YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS! PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION

We are petitioning the Township Committee to phase out the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in our community over the next two years to protect the health of workers and residents, our environment, and our quality of life.


So did I jaytee. I even clicked on the YouTube link and even moved it to 10 mins in. Nowhere in that petition does it say this only plies to professional yard maintenance companies. It implies that we should ban all gas powered leaf blowers within the town, whether privately owned or not. The wording is far too vague to sign up for.


I’ll never give up my gas powered leaf blower.


dano said:

I’ll never give up my gas powered leaf blower.

This is why I don’t sign vaguely worded petitions. It’s not calling for us to get rid of our gas powered leaf blowers, but it reads like it is. 


On what legal or reasonable or practical basis can the Township prohibit companies from doing something while allowing individuals the right to do the same thing?

If an individual can use a gas powered leaf blower, can that individual lend it to a neighbor?

What would prevent many residents from going out and buying their own thwarting the purpose of the ordinance?


Isn't it unusual that no one has used the now obsolete term "politically correct"?  

Hey, as long as we're concerned about noise and air pollution, I say we start a petition outlawing farting.  Oh wait, they already are starting to crack down on cow farting.


ridski said:

So did I jaytee. I even clicked on the YouTube link and even moved it to 10 mins in. Nowhere in that petition does it say this only plies to professional yard maintenance companies. It implies that we should ban all gas powered leaf blowers within the town, whether privately owned or not. The wording is far too vague to sign up for.

 Yes it sounds like a complete ban in gasoline powered leaf blowers. What about the gasoline lawn mowers and snow blowers? I agree it’s too vague..


I think they want to ban all use of gas-powered leaf blowers, for professionals and residents.


I see, this morning for example, landscapers using gas-powered leaf blowers.  I thought this was no longer allowed by city ordinance.  I tried calling the town and got nowhere.


Taylor said:

I see, this morning for example, landscapers using gas-powered leaf blowers.  I thought this was no longer allowed by city ordinance.  I tried calling the town and got nowhere.

The current ordinance covers gas blowers from 5/15 through 9/30.


Poorly written, amateurish.

But if we're so concerned over 

We are petitioning the Township Committee to phase out the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in our community over the next two years to protect the health of workers and residents, our environment, and our quality of life.

Then, let us also ban all gas operated vehicles. Those constant all the time polluting vehicles running around everywhere affecting our health and life quality. I bet cars create 1,000,000 times more pollution than leaf blowers. And the quality of life. How many get run over or have property damaged by leaf blower accidents? So, ban gas vehicles and put governors in all vehicles limiting them to no more than 5 mph. 

The often petitioning of everything attempting to create Shangri-La's of perfection and safety is silly.


RTrent said:

Poorly written, amateurish.

But if we're so concerned over 

We are petitioning the Township Committee to phase out the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in our community over the next two years to protect the health of workers and residents, our environment, and our quality of life.

Then, let us also ban all gas operated vehicles. Those constant all the time polluting vehicles running around everywhere affecting our health and life quality. I bet cars create 1,000,000 times more pollution than leaf blowers. And the quality of life. How many get run over or have property damaged by leaf blower accidents? So, ban gas vehicles and put governors in all vehicles limiting them to no more than 5 mph. 

The often petitioning of everything attempting to create Shangri-La's of perfection and safety is silly.

Nice straw man fallacy.


RTrent said:

Then, let us also ban all gas operated vehicles.

First, let’s weigh what we’d lose under a complete ban on gas leafblowers against what we’d lose under a complete ban on gas vehicles.

If there’s time left over, then we can discuss local writing skills and often petitioning.


I would also like to band the wind and morning doves.  Just as if not more annoying and destructive.


BarneyGumble said:

I would also like to band the wind and morning doves.

There’s an idea: a leafblower powered, like a toy plane propeller, by a band that you wind.

Be careful with it around birds, though. Doves already have enough to mourn.


The emissions from a 2 stroke engine (common in leaf blowers) are much more noxious and full of particulates and CO and CO2 than the engines that run cars. They burn a mix of gasoline and oil which burns much dirtier.  And obviously they’re much louder and the noise they make is a lower frequency so it travels farther and penetrates walls and windows more easily. 

I read one article where they compared the emissions of a car and a leaf blower. Running a leaf blower for an hour produced as much emissions as driving a Toyota  Camry for about 1100 miles.  Maybe take that with a grain of salt but here is one bit of research conducted by Edmunds to quantify the emissions differences:

https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/emissions-test-car-vs-truck-vs-leaf-blower.html


mrincredible said:

The emissions from a 2 stroke engine (common in leaf blowers) are much more noxious and full of particulates and CO and CO2 than the engines that run cars. They burn a mix of gasoline and oil which burns much dirtier.  And obviously they’re much louder and the noise they make is a lower frequency so it travels farther and penetrates walls and windows more easily. 

I read one article where they compared the emissions of a car and a leaf blower. Running a leaf blower for an hour produced as much emissions as driving a Toyota  Camry for about 1100 miles.  Maybe take that with a grain of salt but here is one bit of research conducted by Edmunds to quantify the emissions differences:

https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/emissions-test-car-vs-truck-vs-leaf-blower.html

first off, kudos for the acoustics angle.

secondly, since there are approximately a gazillion more cars than leaf blowers, the fact that leaf blowers are more polluting is kind of immaterial.


drummerboy said:

mrincredible said:

The emissions from a 2 stroke engine (common in leaf blowers) are much more noxious and full of particulates and CO and CO2 than the engines that run cars. They burn a mix of gasoline and oil which burns much dirtier.  And obviously they’re much louder and the noise they make is a lower frequency so it travels farther and penetrates walls and windows more easily. 

I read one article where they compared the emissions of a car and a leaf blower. Running a leaf blower for an hour produced as much emissions as driving a Toyota  Camry for about 1100 miles.  Maybe take that with a grain of salt but here is one bit of research conducted by Edmunds to quantify the emissions differences:

https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/emissions-test-car-vs-truck-vs-leaf-blower.html

first off, kudos for the acoustics angle.

secondly, since there are approximately a gazillion more cars than leaf blowers, the fact that leaf blowers are more polluting is kind of immaterial.

Disagree that it's immaterial -- the heavy, lingering smoke from 2-cycle engines is much more personally bothersome to people (i.e., the people with their windows open on a nice day in the house next door) than the cars out on the highway. Personally it makes me kind of nauseated. And unlike the cars, the 2-cycle leafblowers are something local government can address. 

That said, I'm not sure they should, at least, not completely and not all at once. I don't think a 2-year phase-out is quite enough; I'd think something like 5 years might be more achievable, but I'd do it in two steps, with two different ordinances -- one that bans 2-cycle blowers in commercial use beginning the fall after the year in which it's passed, and (maybe) residential use 2-4 years after that (but which allows 4-cycle ones to be used in either case); the second ordinance would go into effect ~2 years after the first and phase out 4-cycle ones the same way, if it still seems necessary.

I bought myself a battery powered blower last year, and I love it, but I also get 30 minutes out of the battery -- the biggest one they make, it's the one from my lawnmower -- before it dies & I have to recharge it for 30-45 minutes, on a heavy-duty special charger that has its own built-in fan. The way the technology is right now, a landscaper would need a truck full of chargers ... and a way to power those chargers -- perhaps a 2-cycle generator??? -- in order to do their work. We're close, but I don't think we're easily there yet for commercial operators who have a LOT invested in their current equipment. And local government shouldn't be going out of its way to hurt local business owners. 

(I think I'd feel differently and support faster action on this if everyone's lawn was being done by a giant corporation as opposed to local contractors, but that's just not the case.) 


Agreed battery power is on the cusp for commercial use. Once there, contractors will eat those things up... gas is expensive. 

Also the ban on blowers hurts the landscapers more than it helps anything else. I would feel differently if it were one giant landscaping company.


Electric blowers with a cord use the customer's electricity rather than the contractor's, so there's that.  I live in Maplewood, so we already have a partial ban.  And I can't wait until it goes into effect this year!


drummerboy said:

secondly, since there are approximately a gazillion more cars than leaf blowers, the fact that leaf blowers are more polluting is kind of immaterial.

Leaf blowers are low hanging fruit.

sac said:

Electric blowers with a cord use the customer's electricity rather than the contractor's, so there's that.  I live in Maplewood, so we already have a partial ban.  And I can't wait until it goes into effect this year!

Exactly!


Banning gas-powered leaf blowers is about (in no specific order):

1) reducing air pollution

2) reducing noise pollution

3) health/safety of the operators

4) health/safety of residents

5) improving the environment

6) overall quality of life

In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the costs.  Feasible alternatives are available on the market.


Banning "just" leaf blowers is a way to make the laborers life harder. Why not all 2 stroke engines if 2 stroke engines are the problem. My weedwhacker and edger are in use far more often than my leafblower. Thankfully my neighbors love and won't report me  smile either that or they can rake their own leaves every fall. 


One step at a time.


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