Letter to the Editor: Who Can Stand the Racket Anymore?

December 4, 2020

Submitted by Madeleine Altmann

Who can stand the racket anymore?

I could handle the plane noise from Hanscom and even the distant noise from Routes 3 and 95. But now we have a whole other player in town that is driving me to want to leave.

It’s the high-velocity blowers that many landscapers are now using. It looks like a big fan and it’s a new type of landscaping equipment that has no decibel or emissions rating. It sounds like a jet engine and can be heard all over town almost every day.

I moved into my home because it’s a quiet suburban neighborhood but now I feel like I live in an industrial zone. I am sad at the thought I might have to move. My family has lived here since 1980. My parents lived here, my kids grew up here, I want to grow old here, but I cannot stand the almost daily noise anymore.

The insanity is that we know that leaving the leaves is the best thing for the plants, the permaculture,  our health, and the atmosphere.

There is very affordable and long-lasting battery-operated equipment that is way less noisy and polluting.  So why are we allowing the noise bullies to profit at the expense of our well being?

Who’s with me to try and stop the insanity?

Other towns in Massachusetts continue to fight the fight. And we will eventually win, even though the leaf blower industry employs a full-time lobbyist who travels the country attempting to quiet anti-blower legislative activity.

Other towns have enacted year-round bans, gas-powered bans, or hourly restrictions on leaf blowers.

Join me to hatch a plan and start the ball rolling in Bedford.

Please join me at the Facebook Group I started called  Bedford Leave the Leaves. You can also email [email protected]

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December 26, 2020 10:20 am

I so agree!! I always have quite a few inches of leaves (from maples) on my lawn. All I do is mow over it and leave the mulched leaves where they land for next year’s fertilizer . This does not work for oak leaves, though.
The drive way I clear after a rain by pushing the leaves with a snow shovel into a heap and into bags- actually in my case into a wheel barrow and into the woods behind me.
Very gratifying exercises and no gym fees required:)

December 15, 2020 8:58 pm

I totally agree! It’s noise pollution that gets stored in our bodies as toxic stress. We don’t need more toxic stress in our bodies!! I worry about the animals too who have to absorb the noise. It’s destructive and traumatic to our bodies and it’s not necessary. Thanks, Madeleine, I meant to write this letter, but glad you did!

MAdeleine
December 18, 2020 10:12 am
Reply to  Julie Ramsdell

Def. Supposedly it has a certain pitch that’s really really toxic.

Marge
December 15, 2020 6:27 pm

Totally agree. I left all the leaves under all my bushes and shrubs this year! Time to switch to electric blowers.

Mark
December 19, 2020 4:18 pm
Reply to  Marge

Landscaping businesses make a fortune. I too cannot stand the deafening sound of gas powered leaf blowers.!
Bedford should put a BAN on ALL gas powered leaf blowers, and have them be battery powered.

Meighan
December 15, 2020 8:12 am

I agree! And I wish there were more landscapers out there using quiet equipment like http://www.ecoquietlawncare.com George is great!

Adam Stern
December 14, 2020 5:54 pm

I always go with what she says. Get rid of the leaf blowers. Let’s go back to rakes.

Mark
December 19, 2020 4:22 pm
Reply to  Adam Stern

except when you’re a disabled resident, live below the poverty line, unable to have a job to assist with one’s SSDI check, can’t afford a service nor physically can rake your yard.

Madeleine Altmann
December 14, 2020 1:33 pm

I agree. Why remove the leaves that turn into soil. I understand wanting to keep pathways and lawns clear , but no need to remove the leaves from under all the shrubs too.

Ellen
December 5, 2020 7:54 am

Great letter to the editor! Leaves should be left for the benefit of the environment. Bird also benefit from leaf litter. Noise and gas pollution are detrimental to the health and well-being of the planet and all living creatures.

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