Letter: Banning gas powered leaf blowers doesn’t make sense

May 4, 2023

Why exactly are we considering banning leaf blowers? Is it for the environment, is it for the noire, or is it to control what’s going on at your neighbor’s property?

We have a $700 gas powered leaf blower which will be good for another 5 to 10 years. By banning my  gas-powered leaf blower in great condition, we are forcing ourselves to increase consumption of earth’s natural resources by throwing away a working machine just to buy another new one! As a European who has been living in Canada and in the US, I’ve always been a bit surprised at how much waste goes on in Northern America. I grew up being taught to turn off my lights if I am not in the room, wear a wormer jersey in Winter instead of increasing the room temperature, adjust the window blinds to keep the room either cool or warm, walk 15 minutes instead of driving for 2, and not to throw away equipment/appliances that are still in working order. Now, some want to force me to throw away a machine that is still in good condition, then have me turn around and buy another one ?!?

In addition, most residents will not be willing to pay more, but will seek the most cost-effective options. In addition to increasing our waste if gas leaf blowers are banned, we will be driving local small landscaping businesses out of town, and will increase our reliance on larger landscaping companies who can absorb the cost of buying new electric blowers and the inefficiencies associated with them.  Such companies may be located further away, thereby increasing emissions to drive the further distances to Concord. 

With regard to noise, has anyone heard a high-powered, backpack electric leaf blower? It is not much better than a gas-powered leaf blower from a noise pollution perspective, and I have certainly been able to noticeably hear noise from both from inside our house. In my opinion, if the noise disturbance during a nice lunch outside is in fact the reason for the ban, then the ban will not help much… and we are just opening ourselves to more bans.

Thus, from any way you look at it, it doesn’t make sense to ban gas powered leaf blowers. Frankly, I do not understand why we are choosing to focus time and energy on this topic, when a proposed ban would ultimately have a net-negative impact on our community. 

Laetitia Rodes

Hillside Ave