23 June 2010

Dirty, noisy, and inefficient--an end to gas-powered leaf blowers in our parks

At the next meeting of the Board of Parks and Recreation I will be bringing forward a motion directing the Vancouver Park Board to find alternate methods for collecting leaves. Currently the Board uses 2 stroke leaf blowers in some areas. These machines are noisy, dirty, and create more problems than they solve.

The noise generated is not only a nuisance, it can actually be harmful to hearing for those anywhere in close proximity. The two stroke engines, which use a mixture of oil and gas in order to run, spew out noxious fumes that according to the California EPA, produce 145 times more hydrocarbons, 7.5 times more carbon monoxide, and 11 times more particulate matter than a light duty vehicle driven at 30 mph. The Lung Association states that a single gas-powered leaf blower causes as much smog as 17 cars. And then there is all the stuff that the jet engine-like wind blows up and around and we breathe. An excellent essay on this can be found at the Wilmette Life website.

In addition to some background information, the motion will ask the Board to "replace the current inventory of gas powered leaf blowers with more sustainable methods of clearing leaves."

Some links on this issue:

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