The leaf blower ban has not hit EVERY town. But if you dig around, you may see that it’s becoming a bigger problem than just leaf pickup.
Everybody knows that the most powerful leaf blowers are gas powered, using two stroke engines. You simply can’t get the wind power from battery-charged leaf blowers. I did my research. Even the sales associate at the store told me not to waste time with the battery blowers, as we were standing in front of the battery blower rack.
According to WGBH, pollution is front and center behind the ban:
Gas-powered leaf blowers have small, lightweight two-stroke engines that produce significant emissions and pollution from burning fuel with oil. “A commercial landscaper using one backpack leaf blower for one hour generates the same smog-forming emissions as a car driving 1,100 miles,” according to California’s Air Resources Board.
There is also concern for the worker, breathing in the fumes of a small lawn mower strapped to their back.
What About The Noise?
Before the pandemic, working from home wasn’t an issue. Working from home wasn’t really a thing until now. I have first hand experience with the noise these leaf blowers make. My wife is a voice over actress and works fulltime at home in one of our two recording studios. She records promotional announcements for stations around the country. I also record commercials at home, for WROR.
Today, right as we were both about to record, our neighbor’s landscaper fired up not one but TWO leaf blowers right next door! Yes, our studios are professional, but not 100% sound proof. Those things are SO loud, even the most quiet studio would be affected. A local environmental scientist named Jamie Banks says exposure to the loud noise of a leaf blower can also affect health.
What Towns Are Banned?
Lexington, Belmont, Arlington, Concord have voted to phase in year-round bans on gas-powered blowers. And other municipalities, like Swampscott, will prohibit blowers from Memorial to Labor Day.
One reader wrote in to say that his town of Dedham voted it DOWN at their 2023 Spring town meeting, feeling that banning leaf blowers was a bad idea.
I’m not one of those complaining, GET OFF MY LAWN neighbors. Add to that, I’m not trying to hurt the local landscaper. There ARE companies that use JUST electric blowers, but you’re paying higher for peace and quiet. Maybe there’s a compromise on what time during the day they can be used.
If you think this Massachusetts leaf blower ban BLOWS, I found a few Massachusetts laws that really blow!