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?"
>>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.
Nanny state (and in Concord MA they want to ban bottled water in plastic containers)
>>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."
All summer long? Are there that many fallen leaves?
>>gasoline-powered motors pollute the environment.
The town composts theses leaves for about 18-24 months and then gives the loam away to homeowners for free.
The vehicle they use makes the Devil's own noise and can be heard from 1/2 a mile away. If it weren't for the free loam, I'd love to see that beast mothballed.
This is what you get when you have Mass-holes in a state that would vote for Barney, Teddy and Mitt.
Tell her to buy some ear plugs for her mother. GEEEEZ
I own a gasoline drive leaf blower.
I haven’t actually turned it on in 8 or 9 years. It sits in my shed without so much a scratch on its painjob.
I no longer rake or blow the leaves. I simply put the mulcher blade on my lawnmower and turn the 3” or 4” thick carpet of leaves every fall into finely ground dust that settles back into the grass as fertilizer. It takes less time, looks better and produces no waste.
Leafblowers are one of the most obnoxious devices on the planet. They’re hellishly loud and people never use them to clean up debris instead using it to push the debris off their property. I don’t know if they necessarily should be banned, but it’s nice they’ve largely gone out of vogue in my chunk of the world.
it is past time for a “Million Leaf Blower March” on city hall.....
Too much noise huh? Guess other things will have to be similarly banned:
1) Neighbor’s dogs
2) Neighbor’s kids (not mine of course)
5) Motorcycles (not mine of course)
6) Skippy, the ice cream truck
8) Fire and Police Sirens
9) Rap music
Now, if they were banned altogether wouldn’t that cause a mass exodus of people back to Mexico?
It's tough for a small-government type to say, but I wish my city would ban leaf blowers.
Every year another ban, restriction, etc. This USED to be “The Land of the Free”, but every group, from neighborhood associations on up, has become despots handing down edicts.
If it weren’t for trees, they wouldn’t have leaf blower problems.
She must have different seasons than the rest of the country. Leaves fall in the... Fall.
I use mine to blow out the garage and driveway about once a week. It takes 5 minutes to to the garage and a 200’ long driveway.
Keep in mind, Marblehead is one of the richest towns in all of Mass. It is probably all those lawn services working during the middle of the week with all their ETHNIC workers that live in towns like Methuen, Haverhill and God Forbid LAWRENCE.
The landscape artists run the mowers all around and then use the blowers to clear the clippings off the sidewalks and driveways
Leaf blowers could be silenced with a 10 dollar muffler.
They are used every week for grass and debris. I would like to see them muffled, not banned. They are a pain though. I can’t count the number of times my car has been covered with grass and dirt by one of them.....even in a commercial parking garage.
11) Roosters, they crow so early in the morning
12) Jet Skis (Big Squam Lake in NH has banned jet skis)
13) Chain Saws , I like to start mine about 7am on Sunday
14) Canadian Geese
Rakes? I can’t stand the sound of those either! Demand that each leaf be picked up by hand!
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