Key Biscayne Makes a Move Toward Quieter Equipment -- and Wastes No Time About It

According to a story in the Islander News, the Village Council in Key Biscayne, Florida, voted for a switch from noisy, dirty gas-powered leaf blowers to electric models -- and it gave residents and contractors exactly 180 days to make the change. For comparison: the bill the D.C. City Council is considering toward the same end would allow a transition period of as much as five years. (For contractors, the usable life span of gas blowers is much shorter than that, so they'd be replacing the equipment during that period in any case.)

The Islander News headline:

 From the   Islander News  .

From the Islander News.

The story says:

Earlier this year the Village Council passed an ordinance banning gas-powered blowers, noting they’re a major source of noise complaints and also cause significant air pollution. In passing the measure, the Council set a 180-day grace period that expires February 25, 2018....

At a December 12 Council meeting, Development Services Director Sergio Ascunce described the options landscapers have to comply with the new rule.

He noted there are battery-powered leaf blowers that can be used, explaining, “This is going to be the most beneficial type of equipment for the professional. It’s the most powerful, and it’s the longest-lasting in terms of battery life.”

He added the Village’s landscaping contractor, Gorgeous Lawns, agreed in November to make the switch.

The company has found the equipment is beneficial in terms of lowering pollution and noise – “There is no engine idling, and while in operation they’re at a lower decibel level,” Ascunce said – but its concerns included finding a place to charge batteries, the cost of replacement batteries and trouble moving wet clippings because the battery blowers aren’t as powerful.

These practical transition concerns are of course real -- and more likely to be addressed, the faster the market for electric equipment grows.