O U R P R O P O S A L
May 1 to September 30th: No gas leaf blower use, electric blowers allowed
For residential lots only
Starting May 1, 2024 allowing for transition time and public awareness.
All leaf blowers allowed for emergency weather events anytime
Enforced by GPD with enhanced efficiency via landscaper permit process
All existing leaf blower ordinances to remain the same.
W E A R E G R E E N W I C H R E S I D E N T S
Our committee represents a broad consortium of community stakeholders. We are Greenwich residents, former and current landscapers, parents, business owners, PTA members, realtors, neighborhood association leadership, RTM members, Conservation Commission members, Town Sustainability Committee members, board members of the Greenwich Land Trust, Tree Conservancy, League of Women Voters, and commercial garden professionals.
O U R M I S S I O N
Quiet Yards Greenwich aims to address citizen complaints about the excessive use of gas powered leaf blowers in residential neighborhoods. We seek to raise awareness of the negative impacts of gas leaf blowers and to propose positive workable solutions that will improve our quality of life while maintaining our resident’s choices for their properties.
H I S T O R Y
The use of gas-powered leaf blowers has grown exponentially in the past two decades. Residents complain of the constant drone, toxic fumes, and poor air quality. Many residents choose to live in Greenwich for our open spaces and tranquility. Since the pandemic, working and studying from home, or even enjoying our yards in the summer has been a priority. However, the use of gas blowers prevents us from fully using our homes and properties as we would like too and in fact can hurt our health and air quality. We are all affected. Gas blower noise penetrates walls, windows, and extends long distances across property boundaries. Since the early nineties, we are the third group in Greenwich to push for a balance. Luckily with new technologies, there are a variety of common sense solutions that finally strike a common ground for residents, landscape businesses, and blower operators.
O U R S U P P O R T E R S
We are grateful to those that support our mission, materials, and a cleaner quieter Greenwich
C L I C K P I C T U R E T O R E A D A R T I C L E
OVER 200 MUNICIPALITIES AROUND THE U.S. HAVE RESPONDED WITH GAS BLOWER LIMITS:
Responding to the complaints of their residents, and concerns of health organizations over 200 municipalities around the country have placed limits on gas blowers. The entire state of California and others have acted to limit these outdated machines including:
AZ: Maricopa County (20 municipalities) *CA state* Colorado: Aspen, Carbondale * CT: Norwalk, Stamford * Washington, DC * FL: Miami, Coral Gables, Naples, Palm Beach. Tampa, Key West * HI state * IL: Evanston, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Lincolnwood, Oak Park, Wilmette, Winnetka * MD: Montgomery County (19 municipalities), Chevy Chase * MA: Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Lexington, Lincoln, Longport, Newton * MI: Ann Arbor, Blackmon, Cassopolis, Kalamazoo, Oakland, Richland, Roseville * NH: Portsmouth * NJ: Summit, Maplewood, Highland Park, Montclair, Princeton, Woodcliff Lake * NY: Ardsley, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, East Hampton, Flower Hill, Garden City, Great Neck, Greenburg, Hastings, Huntington, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck (Town and Village), Newcastle, New Rochelle, NYC, North Hempstead, Nyack, Orangetown, Oyster Bay, Pelham Village, Port Chester, Rye, Scarsdale, Sleepy Hollow, Southampton, Tarrytown, Thomaston, Tuckahoe, White Plains, Yonkers * NC: Chapel Hill * OR: Portland * TX: Highland Park, Houston * VA: Fairfax County, Alexandria * WA: Seattle
OUR NEIGHBORING TOWNS CHOSE LEAF BLOWER LIMITS:
Summer & Winter Limits
Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Mt. Vernon, Scarsdale, Pelham Manor, Port Chester, Ossining, White Plains, Greenburgh
Bronxville, Rye, Hastings on Hudson, Bedford, Mamaroneck, New Castle, New Rochelle, Sleepy Hollow, Tuckahoe, Yonkers, Tarrytown, Ardsley
Year Round Moratorium
Larchmont, Irvington (2023)
ELECTRIC LEAF BLOWERS EASILY SOLVE THE NOISE AND AIR QUALITY ISSUES
Electric leaf blowers are a perfect alternative for most of the year. The newer commercial models provide 80% of the power that gas blowers use. They are significantly quieter with no maintenance and no toxic emissions. Electric noise waves are higher register and so they do not penetrate walls and windows or travel long distances as compared to the low register gas leaf blower sound waves. Additionally, they save landscapers significant costs through lack of maintenance and time spent refueling. Electric leaf blowers are entering landscapers’ tool arsenals. We created a “Green Guide” listing 21 landscapers already offering electric leaf blowing to Greenwich residents (see Resources). For late fall clean-ups, electric landscapers mulch mow and use sweepers when fall leaves are heavy and wet. Other than that, the commercial grade electric blowers are more than efficient for use until the very end of the fall season.
NOISE: ELECTRIC VS GAS LEAF BLOWERS - NOT ALL DECIBELS ARE THE SAME
Electric leaf blowers are quieter by decibel level AND sound frequency.
Decibel levels are logarithmic:
A 3 dB change yields a 100% increase in sound energy and just over a 23% increase in loudness.
A 10 db increase means 10 times louder, a 20 db increase means 100 times louder.
Gas Blower low frequency sound waves penetrate walls and windows and travel long distances crossing property lines!
Even at the same decibel level, electric blowers are high frequency sound waves that don’t penetrate or travel as far as lower frequency gas blower sound waves
(See Resources Town of Greenwich White Paper for studies, and references)