Did you know that Los Altos was the first city in the Bay Area to ban gas-powered leaf blowers? The ordinance has been in Los Altos’ municipal code since 1991, but enforcement has been lacking and new residents are often unaware of this law. (Los Altos Noise Ordinance, Health and Safety Chapter 6.16.070) prohibits the use of gasoline powered leaf blowers at all times.
The GreenTown Los Altos campaign to eliminate these highly polluting gas-powered leaf blowers from our community recently got a major boost.
The Los Altos Police Department has hired a code enforcement officer to improve enforcement. Currently, the enforcement is complaint-driven and dependent on residents to call the police non-emergency number to report gas-leaf blower use. Please call 650-947-2770 when you see a gas-powered leaf blower used in your neighborhood.
In addition to disruptive and unhealthy noise levels, gas-powered leaf blowers contribute 2 very significant health hazards. They spew toxic exhaust emissions into the air and fill the air with harmful particulate matter. Insignificant amounts? No way!
The California Air Resources Board finds that “For the best-selling commercial leaf blower, one hour of operation emits smog-forming pollution comparable to driving a 2017 Toyota Camry about 1100 miles, or approximately the distance from Los Angeles to Denver.”
The CA Air Resources Board predicts that by 2020, leaf blowers and other small gas engines will create more ozone pollution than all of the passenger cars in the state posing “the next air quality threat“.
And if you’re wondering how to make changes, ask your gardener to use a rake and broom or an electric blower. Some neighbors purchase electric blowers and/or batteries for their gardeners. Help make the Los Altos community healthier for residents and workers.