Letter to the Editor: In Defense of Leaf Blowers.

Submitted by Thomas Kenny

I am coming out in opposition to banning gas powered leaf blowers for personal use. As we get older and arthritis and joint issues emerge, the use a gas leaf blower has allowed me to keep my yard cleared of
leaves without the prohibiting expense of hiring a landscaper. I do compost the piled leaves. 

I have tried battery powered tools and they don’t last. Either you can’t finish the job without recharging or the batteries stop taking a charge causing the purchase of very expensive replacements and the disposal of lithium batteries into the waste stream. Corded equipment for anyone with a large yard is impractical.

If it is the noise that bothers you, then there is little noticeable difference in levels, as most of the noise is from the airflow. In fact, having used both, the noise from battery or electric is worse, as it takes longer to do the job with recharging, often over multiple days. And since it is just a short window of time that
these are in use, even with a landscaper, then making a law to ban them is just a pet peeve issue that can be handled with waiting the relatively short time it takes for your neighbor to finish the job.

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The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.

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Chris Lennon
November 21, 2023 1:54 pm

Was there some actual concrete proposal being moved in the original letter on this topic?

November 21, 2023 1:02 pm

I don’t mind the noise as much as I mind too much unnecessary noise. I can rake my entire property in 1 hour, tops. One of our neighbors with *the same size* yard used to hive a company to take care of the leaves for them. Those guys used to spend an hour on that yard with 3 gas powered leaf blowers, and a ride on mower, to blow it all to the front of the house. When most of the leaves were by the curb, they’d start up a giant vacuum cleaner machine on a trailer to suck them all up, while the 3 other guys would keep on blowing all the leaves towards the vacuum hose.

So 1 person can pile it all up in 1 hour, but 5 pieces of high powered equipment going for an entire hour to do the same job does get on people’s nerves. With that much power, they should have been able to complete the job in 15 minutes and be gone.

I don’t think they should be banned, but running a few of them at the same time non-stop for an hour certainly is a nuisance.

Nick Geno
November 21, 2023 10:02 am

I own a gas powered riding mower, a push mower, a leaf blower and a string trimmer. At 79 where is all the money coming from to replace these? Amazing how the past 50 years it has not been an issue.

November 20, 2023 10:57 pm

One of the points made by the Xerces Society scientist quoted in my original posting is that leaves represent an important winter ground cover protection for many species that are beneficial to a healthy ecological system. So it is not just a question about the type of leaf blowers but the very need for them in the first place. I am content with chopping them up with a mower blade that composts them in situ.

A lot has been made about the decline of the Monarch butterfly but I notice also that I no longer see fire flies, or walking sticks, or Charlotte’s web spiders, very few grasshoppers, and many other insects that used to be abundant.

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