The use and regulation of leaf blowers has been a topic of discussion in Scarsdale for many years due to environmental, health, and quality of life concerns.
In 1994, Scarsdale enacted regulations limiting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers to certain months of the year. In the ensuing years, the topic has been revisited to discuss the continued negative impact of gas leaf blower use on residents, the environment, and landscapers who use them for long periods of time. The onset of COVID-19, requiring many residents to work from home and students to attend school from home, has created heightened awareness of the myriad negative effects of gas blowers and has caused increased requests from the community to address their use.
1. Gas leaf blowers pollute the air, negatively impact landscapers’ health, and have excessive noise levels that negatively impact the quality of life for residents, including students attending school remotely, people working from home, and residents trying to enjoy their time at home and in the community;
2. Electric leaf blowers address many of the downsides of gas leaf blowers since they are zero emissions and produce significantly less noise;
3. There are electric leaf blowers currently on the market which are cost-effective and sufficient for personal and professional use throughout the majority of the year. During leaf season (October through December), however, gas leaf blowers are currently the most viable option for professional landscapers; and
4. Enforcement of the current gas leaf blower regulation, in effect from June 1 to September 30, and any amendment expanding the regulation, needs to be addressed by the Board to more fully support such regulation.