Skip to comments.Ban on leaf blowers mulled
Posted on 04/17/2012 9:44:54 AM PDT by raccoonradio
If you're running a leaf blower, some people in Marblehead want you to reconsider the rake.
They've even put the issue on the warrant for the May 7 Town Meeting.
The proposed article says simply, "To see if the town will ban the use of leaf blowers in the Town of Marblehead or take any other action relative thereto."
Some supporters have suggested the wording be amended on the floor to merely limit leaf blowing.
Noise is the main objection to leaf blowers, although there are other drawbacks touching on health and the environment. Getting rid of the noise, said Sandi Peaslee, a backer of the article, "would be a wonderful thing."
Even landscapers like Scott Thomson in Salem express sympathy toward those who can't bear the ear-splitting roar of leaf blowers. His own workers are told to wear protective devices over their ears.
But if the article passes, it's going to cost Marbleheaders more to groom their yards substantially more, Thomson said.
"I would say 25 percent more at the least," he said, noting that it will take workers a lot longer to do the same job with a rake.
Thomson, who remembers the days before leaf blowers, believes they not only make lawn work quicker, they make it better. For example, a leaf blower can force out dead leaves stuck within bushes and hedges.
Otherwise, he said, "they have to pick those leaves out by hand."
His trucks also use large reverse blowers to suck leaves in at the end of the job. Thomson wonders if a new bylaw would affect that process.
"This is about money," he said. "We sell time." And that time will balloon if the article passes.
Proponents like Beth Grader expect opposition. At a March 27 forum in Marblehead to discuss the issue, opponents of the ban grew so heated that some simply left the meeting, she said.
People who have paid for leaf blowers want to use them, Grader said.
"And I hate telling anyone what they can do," she said, but adds, "You have the darn things going all summer long."
She notes that her seriously ill mother, confined to her room with open windows, will be hard-pressed to bear the racket.
"The decibel level of a leaf blower is much higher than a lawn mower," she said.
And that's only part of the problem.
Peaslee points out that gasoline-powered motors pollute the environment. Moreover, leaf blowers' absence would improve conditions for the garden, as they often take out vital "leaf litter" that helps plants thrive.
Grader also invites voters to consider what's in the dust that leaf blowers kick up, including animal droppings. The dust lingers in the air, she warns, and runners and others breathe all that deep into their lungs.
If limiting leaf blowing is an idea whose time has come, you wouldn't know it by listening to one veteran Salem city councilor. Joe O'Keefe says it hasn't been proposed in his city, and he thinks it would fail 11-0 if it were.
"What are they going to ban next?" he asks. "People want to clean their lawns and driveways. It's an advantage to have a leaf blower. Are we going to ban lawn mowers, too? Or airplanes? They make noise."
He has his own leaf blower but concedes, "I can't get it to start."
As for his neighbors in Marblehead, he asks, "Don't the taxpayers and poor souls in Marblehead have enough to do without banning leaf blowers?"
Will you adopt me?
I've lived in a rural area most of my childhood and adult life. I have about 30 acres and I'm in the middle of it. I'm up at the end of a dead end road going up a ridge. In the spring summer and fall my home can't be seen from the road nor will it even show up on ariel photo anytime :>}
These idiots, the enviro’s, want no noise and no power (energy use of any form) yet they are the first and loudest to scream and yell to get their power turned back on immediately during an outage. I said they want no power, meaning no form of energy should be used, and they won’t be happy until we are all living without power, and that is pretty much what they profess. BUT let them go without it for one day, and they scream bloody murder.
Blowers are used to clean off grass from driveways and sidewalks after mowing too, so I suppose once a week they might be used, fools like this stalinist have to stick their nose in everyones business while saying she doesn’t want to do that, BUT.......
They can have my leaf blower when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.....
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.