La Quinta, CA
Gas powered leaf blowers have been banned in Palm Springs and although the law won’t go into effect until the first of next year, landscapers are already worried about what this might mean for them. Juan Rosales, a local landscaper, will have to make the switch to an electrical leaf blower and says this could drive him out of business.
"I might need to minimize the amount of houses we do a day, and add another day to our work schedule…maybe even start working on Sundays."
This, all because of the recent ban that is trying to address concerns about noise levels, the environment, and health issues.
Frankie Burns, a retired nurse, understands the health side, but doesn’t agree the noise reduction aspect.
"It’s ridiculous to me for a noise level…I could see the dust….you know I tell the gardeners, how come you’re not wearing a mask."
Something that people might not realize is that these gas powered leaf blowers can last at least three hours on a full tank, but the batteries on the electrical ones start dying about an hour in. This is something that could certainly be deadly with this heat. Rosales told us the ban is only going to extend the amount of time he spends outside of the sun.
"It’s a horrible feeling knowing you are going to get sick in this heat and once the battery pack gets hot, what do you do…you gonna stop sit down and wait for the battery pack to charge and then start again. We’ll be at a house for two to three hours."
Rosales maintains 15 to 16 houses a day, and with the new ban in place, he could be breaking bank.
" You know each battery is about $100.00 to $123.00 dollars. It’s going to hit me in the pocket and clients are going to be upset because the yards aren’t going to look nice. Then, they are going to fire us."
Truth is, time is money and according to Frankie, this ban is not worth the hassle.
"It’s very unfair for the homeowner and the gardener."
While the ban will go into effect the first of next year, the city’s giving a four month grace period for people to slowly make that transition. Which means, fines will be issued next April for those who are still using gas powered leaf blowers.