Leaf Blowers – What’s Bedford Thinking

November 3, 2023

It’s late fall, the trees are dropping their leaves and with the leaves hitting the ground there is the ubiquitous hum of leaf blowers throughout the neighborhoods of Bedford.

A Letter to the Editor in The Bedford Citizen suggested that Bedford should ban gas-powered leaf blowers. 

The main complaint about gas-powered leaf blowers is the noise, but there are other concerns. Environmental pollution is a big factor, and reducing CO2 emissions is always a goal.  Another argument is you should not remove leaves at all in the fall because it’s a habitat for insects and pollinators and some argue it’s best to leave them on the ground.  

Electric battery-powered leaf blowers are much improved and actually fare pretty well compared with gas blowers in the homeowner market.

Gas vs. Electric Leaf Blower: Which Is Better? Consumer Reports – May 16, 2023

There are a number of local commercial landscapers that advertise an all-electric alternative.

Neighboring Lexington voted to ban gas leaf blowers in 2021 and reaffirmed the vote in a special town meeting in the spring of 2022. Other state governments are moving that way, too. The California legislature voted to ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers in December 2021 for environmental reasons. Rhode Island is also considering an all-out ban on them.

Most of the pushback comes from landscapers. In Lexington, they are using a phased approach. Use of gas-powered leaf blowers by commercial landscapers will be prohibited in Lexington beginning March 15, 2025, and prohibited for residents in 2026.

So, what does Bedford think about banning leaf blowers in town? If the answer is to ban them, how the town does it is another question.

  • No - Do not ban gas-powered leaf blowers. (56%, 240 Votes)
  • Yes - Ban gas-powered leaf blowers. (44%, 186 Votes)

Total Voters: 426

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