10 comments to “Noisy, But That’s Not All”

  1. Bliss Doubt

    I never get my car washed because of leafblower filth in the air. As soon as I return home with a clean car, it gets covered in leaf dust. Nearly every peaceful day is disrupted by the spine scraping noise of those violent machines. As soon as I hear the noise, I smell the gasoline fumes.

    There are things people can do. In most places it is illegal to dump your yard waste into the street, yet this is how these machines are used, which goes into how long the worker will take to usher every leaf, twig and dog turd to the curb for the grand dump. What you can do is take videos of them with your phone, showing the illegal leafblower dumping. You’ll often record the workers blowing it all down the storm drains. Send your videos to your water system authorities, your city council representative, and to the management of any public buildings where this egregious practice is taking place, such as libraries, hospitals and court houses.

    In my experience, what will happen is that notices are sent to the addresses where this goes on, and things will improve for a while. The workers will spend less time getting every speck off the lawn, and just blow the debris onto the grass and planted beds as compost, and leave. But the improvement never lasts long. There is an OCD quality to the process, and before long the workers will lapse into their usual moronic behavior of blowing for 45 minutes, then dumping it in the street. You have to keep making the videos, keep going, keep sending to the authorities. Only when the dumping becomes a ticketable offense will it stop for good.

    We all have to write or email our local, state and national environmental authorities, continuously. Passivity indicates acceptance. It may take a long time to get it stopped, because blowing is the popular job, and as this article mentions, the making of the machines is profitable, but if we don’t do anything, it will only get worse. If there are three buildings on your block where blowers are used now, next year there will be five. Contractors are now blowing at night in commercial areas such as malls. Blowers are used on weekends and holidays. Disturbing the peace is allowed because it is accepted. The environmental destruction is allowed because it is accepted. Don’t accept it.

  2. Hal Levin

    Any time you are cleaning (sweeping, vacuuming, leaf removing – by raking or leaf blowing), you disturb what is on the ground outside (or on the floor inside) you will temporarily increase the airborne concentration of particles. The duration of the elevated concentration depends on particle size, wind, air moisture levels, and total concentrations. The background level (e.g., traffic-related) must be subtracted from the measured concentrations to determine the concentration attributable to the leaf blower.

  3. Nick

    Kiss my lawn care providing ass. You people have no clue how useful a leaf blower truly is. You stand here and complain but I bet you drive a car and use plenty of pollutants in your daily life.

  4. Alan Wshburn

    There is lots of power machinery that is more dangerous than leaf blowers, but most of it does something useful. The unique thing about leaf blowing is that most of it is simply to make things look temporarily neat. The leaves are simply blown somewhere else, rather than disposed of or composted, at the cost of the user’s health and aural distress to everybody else. I support banning leaf blowers, regardless of the power source, but we should always include an exception. The exception is that leaf blowing should be permitted for users standing on roofs, where other methods of disposing of flammable debris are dangerous.

  5. Alan Kandel

    These machines are not needed – at all! Except, of course, if they are used as intended: as leaf blowers and only during times of the year when leaves fall from the trees.

    In my own neighborhood, for homeowners and professional lawn-/yard-care providers alike, the air-/noise-polluting machines are a mainstay. And, for what?! I do the same work with a broom and dustpan which suits me just fine. My mower, incidentally, is a rechargeable electric. I remember being in my backyard and behind the neighbor’s house next door, a yard work-crew member was going at it full bore. In awe, I watched a huge plume of dirt, dust and debris come flying over the fence that separates the two properties, and further watched to see which way the airborne filth was going to go. It moved to the west and south rather than to the north which is where my house and yard are located. All I could think of at the time, was when it was the yard-maintenance professionals’ turn to groom the yard next where I live, that dust, dirt and debris that landed there from the yard behind, that this air-polluting mess would go right back from whence it came and elsewhere. This is a no-win proposition.

    And, if that wasn’t enough, at a hospital I visited once, a grounds-crew-person, sure enough, with gasoline-blower in hand, proceeded to blow around the residual matter left after the lawn was mowed that could be introduced into the air. And at a hospital, of all places! A hospital is a place that promotes and improves the health of its patients. Seeing the blower in action was indeed counter-intuitive. It wasn’t that this person with blower in hand was kicking up the residue, it was that it was being done by a machine that was outfitted with an internal-combustion engine, and a very smelly one at that!

    And, finally, across the street diagonally from where I live it was a “battle of the blowers” apparently. One neighbor grooming his own lawn capped off the work with so-called leaf blowing. All of the airborne crud literally formed a cloud around the neighbor doing the work. He was enveloped in the dust cloud. And, right next door, the hired lawn-care worker was engaged in the same activity at the same time. It quite literally had become a dust-in-the-air back and forth — each seemingly going the extra mile to one-up the other. I couldn’t help but watch as I had never seen anything like this before, ever!

    I have to ask: Why?! Pathetic.

  6. Roy Bitz

    Time to educate the users of gas fired blowers. Encourage these folks to Use them efficienty.
    I’m pretty sure they could reduce run times and speeds by at least 50% if they realized their paycheck has nothing to do with how long and how loud they blow.

  7. Jeanne Kempthorne

    Riverdave, is it OK to post your wonderful poem on Facebook or other sites?

  8. Jeanne Kempthorne

    It is time for Boards of Health to step up and address the serious health risks of this noxious tool. It’s time for OSHA to take action to protect the powerless workers doing this awful work. It’s time for property owners to reassess their priorities.

  9. Riverdave

    The Leaf Blower
    Riverdave Owen
    November 28, 2013

    Two lizard friends set out to hunt
    One bright autumnal day
    They scramble through the fallen leaves
    In search of insect prey.

    But soon a noxious odor spreads
    Across the forest floor
    The elder lizard stops to sniff
    And then shouts “motor oil!”

    A monstrous whining engine sound
    Is heard throughout the land
    As leaves are blown and tossed about
    From here to Samarkand.

    A motor pack is on the back
    Of one poor human serf
    Who with his tube expels the leaves
    And liberates his turf.

    For some great patron Tamerlane
    He moves as if a pawn
    And dares not let one dying leaf
    Offend his master’s lawn.

    The lizards run for cover to
    A hollow white oak tree
    The younger asks the elder if
    Now he can make a plea.

    “Would it not make just common sense
    To let these leaves retire
    Around the trees that give them birth
    And let them so expire?”

    The elder answers, “Humans now
    Consider leaves as waste
    And fail to grasp the simple truth
    Of Nature’s mulching grace.”

    The younger lizard looks around
    Unable to digest
    The folly of the human race
    Then cries in deep distress,

    “Oh leaf blower, please calm your roar
    And grant our ears some rest
    Allow these trees their provender
    Their leaves to repossess!”

  10. rayn

    It’s really a matter of clean air and sound. These toys amuse some types while providing no functional value. The two-stroke engines also spew a mix of octane+oil vapor exhaust and amplified noise. A wet pushbroom does way more with out the dust and lung damage.

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