The seasonal ban of leaf blowers began May 1 and leaf blowers may not be used on private properties until September 30.
The seasonal ban of leaf blowers began May 1 and leaf blowers may not be used on private properties until September 30. In the case of a major storm, the City may suspend the law for up to a week. Copies of the law are available on the Rye City website.
To report violations, call the Rye Police at 967-1234. Provide the address of the property where the blower is being used and if possible the name of the lawn service from the side of the truck. Those who violate the law can be fined $250.
This seasonal ban has been in place is 2008 and since then many communities have followed Rye’s lead and passed similar restrictions. Here is why all should support its enforcement:
1. Gas-powered leaf blowers pollute the air we breathe. They emit up to 30 percent of unburned fuel in the exhaust.. The carbon monoxide pollution of a leaf blower is 7.5 times greater than a car. Hydrocarbon pollution is 145 times greater.
2. Gas and electric leaf blowers suspend the top layer of soil and toxic materials in the air. Dust stirred up by blowers includes pesticides, fungi, chemicals, fertilizers, and fecal matter. Street dust includes lead and organic and elemental carbon.
3. Leaf blowers are harmful to plants and lawns. They blow away natural compost and mulch, depriving plants of necessary nutrients and protection. Plants shut down growth and seal shut natural openings in the leaves that allow for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. New growth is often too delicate to withstand the gusts. Disease spores in the soil are blown back on the plants.
4. Leaf blower noise is a nuisance and health hazard. The EPA defines the comfortable outdoor noise limit to be 55 decibels. A standard gas- powered leaf blower 50 feet away is 70-75 decibels. Noise can permanently damage the hearing of young children. The noise is made worse because often a number of blowers are used at one time and at the same time as mowers.
5. Leaf blowers are not needed from May-September. Many yard services blow properties every time they come to mow, but from May 1 to September 30 there is very little that needs to be cleaned up from trees, and grass clippings should be left on the lawn. Blowers “over blow” and workers have to retrace their steps. Rakes and brooms can be more effective.