Opinion: Ask landscapers to limit gas-powered leaf blowers to limit spread of COVID, noise pollution


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The Princeton Board of Health and the Princeton Environmental Commission have suggested that we talk to our landscapers and ask them to limit or discontinue their use of gas-powered leaf blowers because gas leaf blower pollution worsens COVID-19.

I can testify from personal experience that doing this can really work. I talked to my landscaper. I asked him to completely stop using leaf blowers on my property but to continue mowing my lawn. He was glad to do this. The result: when he works on my lawn, there is no longer any noise or pollution from leaf blowers that would damage his health and disturb my neighbors.

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I next encouraged my landscaper to buy battery-powered equipment. He now mows my lawn with a battery-powered mower. The result: when he mows my lawn, there is less noise and no pollution.

He does most of the work himself. I’m glad that he is no longer subjected to pollution and noise from gas-powered leaf blowers and a gas-powered mower because of his work for me. In addition, he no longer needs to buy and maintain a leaf blower for use on my property. And his new battery-powered mower is less expensive for him to run and maintain than his old gas-powered mower.

In the summer he mows, and he leaves the grass clippings on the lawn and on the sidewalks. The grass clippings soon disappear. In the fall he mows, and he mulches fallen leaves into the lawn. The leaves are cut up into tiny bits that soon disappear. The grass clippings and mulched leaves nourish the lawn. They are good for the lawn. In addition, the grass clippings and leaves don’t get blown into the sewers where they would cause stormwater problems.

My landscaper charges me a small amount more in the fall because mulching leaves can sometimes require several passes of the mower. Otherwise his prices are the same as before.

He’s happy, I’m happy, and my neighbors are happy.

For more information, visit quietprinceton.org.

Phyllis Teitelbaum

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