Letter: City should use electric lawn care equipment

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I’ve noticed that the City maintenance workers use gas-powered weed wackers (trimmers), mowers and other equipment that is readily available these days in battery-powered form. Most gas-powered trimmers and leaf blowers use 2-stroke engines, which pollute to an amazing degree.

According to a February 2000 California Air Resources Board report, 99% of all gas-powered leaf blowers (and trimmers) have 2-stroke engines. Another of their reports estimates pollution from one hour of running a 2-stroke engine is similar to driving a car 1,100 miles, and one hour of a 4-stroke lawn mower is similar to driving a car 300 miles. Edmunds estimated that 30 minutes of a leaf blower produces similar pollution to driving a Ford F-150 Raptor truck from Texas to Alaska and that 2-stroke engines like these generate 23 times the carbon dioxide of the Raptor and 300 times the non-methane hydrocarbons.

The estimations of the amount of pollution that these 2-stroke engines emit vary widely depending on the source, but it’s clear that it is particularly bad for the environment and bad for the health of the user. Obviously, they are also overly loud.

The City should set a good example by replacing all their lawn care equipment with battery electric equipment. At a relatively modest cost, it will be better for the environment, better for the workers, less expensive to operate, and less noisy for everyone around.

Carl Winefordner, Laguna Beach

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