Grassroots Group Takes Aim at Noisy and Polluting Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers in Cleveland Heights, US

Date:

Updated: 10:35 PM, Tue November 14, 2023

Grassroots Group Advocates for Quieter and Greener Alternatives to Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

Cleveland Heights is home to a grassroots organization known as Quiet Clean Heights, which is determined to tackle the noise and pollution caused by gas-powered leaf blowers. This group is a part of the larger Quiet Clean Alliance, consisting of likeminded organizations that share concerns about the detrimental impacts of these leaf blowers on the environment, health, and tranquility of their communities.

Founder of Quiet Clean Heights, Alice Jeresko, clarifies that the group is not targeting the city’s maintenance department, but rather homeowners and landscaping crews using gas-powered leaf blowers to remove grass, leaves, and debris from lawns during the summer and fall. The group believes that the excessive noise produced by leaf blowers is most disruptive in densely populated areas. The irritating sound can travel hundreds of feet, disturbing the peace of nearby residents and posing a hazard to cyclists who may encounter the debris and dust stirred up by these blowers.

Kirsten Schatz, a clean air advocate with nonprofit organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund, explains that the concerns surrounding the use of gas-powered lawn equipment, especially leaf blowers, have become a nationwide issue. The noise generated by leaf blowers has drawn numerous complaints from people who find it incredibly annoying. Moreover, there are health implications to consider. Gas-powered handheld tools, like leaf blowers, are actually more polluting per unit weight than larger equipment such as cars or lawnmowers. Schatz attributes this to the fact that smaller handheld tools typically utilize two-stroke engines with little to no emission controls, resulting in exhaust and pollution being directly released into the user’s face.

A recent national report by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research and Policy Center, and the Frontier Group sheds light on the extent of the problem. The report reveals the alarming amount of fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and greenhouse gases emitted by gas-powered lawn and garden equipment, including leaf blowers, mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, and even snow blowers. In Ohio alone, these types of equipment emitted an estimated 885 tons of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in 2020, a volume equivalent to what 9 million typical gas-burning cars would emit in a year. Cuyahoga County, in particular, accounted for PM 2.5 emissions equivalent to those of over 1.5 million cars. Additionally, lawn equipment emissions in Ohio for carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, exceeded 30 million tons in 2020, surpassing the total greenhouse gas emissions of Los Angeles in 2021, according to the report.

Mike Foley, the Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, acknowledges the concerns associated with gas-powered leaf blowers but notes that his office has not yet addressed the issue. However, he suggests that implementing a program similar to the $100 rebates offered to county residents who switch from gas-powered to electric lawnmowers could prove beneficial. The aim is not to drive landscapers out of business, but rather to support and encourage their transition to greener methods by offering incentives that offset the additional costs of electric lawn equipment. Clean Air Lawn Care, a company operating nationwide and solely using electric equipment, serves as a promising example of how the transition to environmentally friendly lawn care can be accomplished.

Numerous communities across the country have already taken steps to restrict the use of gas-powered lawn care equipment or incentivize the adoption of cleaner alternatives. For instance, Washington, D.C. has banned gas-powered leaf blowers entirely, while Colorado provides discounts for the purchase of electric leaf blowers, mowers, trimmers, and snow blowers. Furthermore, starting from July 1, 2024, the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and string trimmers will be illegal in California.

Quiet Clean Heights, however, has yet to make such demands in their community. For now, their approach is focused on raising awareness and promoting voluntary change among homeowners and landscaping crews. They hope to garner support for future legislation aimed at addressing the noise and pollution caused by gas-powered leaf blowers. The group firmly believes that by switching to readily available electric lawn equipment, which is cleaner, quieter, and more environmentally friendly, they can make a substantial impact on air pollution levels and safeguard public health.

As the concerns surrounding gas-powered leaf blowers continue to gain traction, it remains to be seen how Cleveland Heights and other communities will address these issues. With the potential for voluntary change and future legislation, it is clear that the efforts of groups like Quiet Clean Heights are instrumental in promoting greener, quieter alternatives for maintaining lawns and gardens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is Quiet Clean Heights?

Quiet Clean Heights is a grassroots organization in Cleveland Heights dedicated to addressing the noise and pollution caused by gas-powered leaf blowers in the community.

Who is the founder of Quiet Clean Heights?

The founder of Quiet Clean Heights is Alice Jeresko.

Whom does Quiet Clean Heights primarily target?

Quiet Clean Heights primarily targets homeowners and landscaping crews who use gas-powered leaf blowers to remove grass, leaves, and debris from lawns.

What are the concerns associated with gas-powered leaf blowers?

Gas-powered leaf blowers produce excessive noise, which can be disruptive to nearby residents and cyclists. They also contribute to air pollution due to the lack of emission controls on the two-stroke engines they use.

Has gas-powered lawn equipment become a nationwide issue?

Yes, the concerns surrounding gas-powered lawn equipment, particularly leaf blowers, have become a nationwide issue.

What does a national report reveal about gas-powered lawn and garden equipment?

The national report reveals that gas-powered lawn and garden equipment, including leaf blowers, emit fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and greenhouse gases. In Ohio alone, these emissions are equivalent to the emissions of millions of gas-burning cars.

What possible solution does the Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County suggest?

The Director of Sustainability suggests implementing a program similar to the $100 rebates offered to county residents who switch from gas-powered to electric lawnmowers.

How have other communities addressed the issue of gas-powered lawn care equipment?

Some communities, like Washington, D.C., have banned gas-powered leaf blowers altogether, while others offer discounts for the purchase of electric lawn care equipment. In California, the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and string trimmers will be illegal starting from July 1, 2024.

What is the current approach of Quiet Clean Heights in addressing the issue?

Currently, Quiet Clean Heights is focused on raising awareness and promoting voluntary change among homeowners and landscaping crews. They hope to garner support for future legislation aimed at addressing the noise and pollution caused by gas-powered leaf blowers.

What is the ultimate goal of Quiet Clean Heights?

The ultimate goal of Quiet Clean Heights is to encourage the use of electric lawn equipment, which is cleaner, quieter, and more environmentally friendly, to reduce air pollution levels and protect public health.

What is the significance of groups like Quiet Clean Heights in promoting greener alternatives?

Groups like Quiet Clean Heights play a crucial role in promoting greener alternatives for lawn care and in advocating for legislation to address the issues associated with gas-powered leaf blowers.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson is a seasoned journalist and an expert in the field of UK news. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for delivering accurate and timely information, she is responsible for managing the UK news section at The Reportify. Emily's commitment to journalistic integrity ensures that readers receive comprehensive coverage of the latest happenings in the United Kingdom. Her in-depth research and ability to convey complex stories in a clear and engaging manner make her a trusted source of news for our readers. Stay informed with Emily Johnson's insightful articles and stay connected to the pulse of the UK news landscape She can be reached at emily@thereportify.com for any inquiries or further information.

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