Just a few months after California’s program came to a close, landscapers in Santa Cruz now have access to a local program which offers to put clean, quiet, battery-powered tools in their hands at deep discounts.
Landscapers can get rebates of up to 80% on new electric leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and other zero-emission landscaping tools (including batteries) through local retailers. (It is available to all of Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties.) Companies can receive up to $15,000 in rebates. Eligibility requires the scrapping and recycling of the applicant’s existing gas-powered tools, one for one, to ensure these archaic devices won’t tax the environment and the public’s health any more.
“One hour of commercial leaf blower use is equivalent to driving approximately 14 hours or 1,110 miles in a new, light-duty passenger car,” noted Richard Stedman, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD), which is implementing the program. Beyond adding to smog and climate change, gas-powered landscape equipment contributes to a host of health issues including respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases, hearing loss, neurological effects, and leukemia and other types of cancer.
The program is helping landscape companies transition to battery equipment as the sale and use of gas-powered varieties are coming to a close. Beginning in January, the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers, string trimmers, edgers, and other SOREs will no longer be allowed in the state of California. Plus, cities are phasing out the legal use of them, particularly gas-powered leaf blowers. Over 50 cities across California have already done so, and Santa Cruz is expected to as well, as called for in its most recent Climate Action Plan.
In short, the era of gas-powered leaf blowers is finally nearing its end, and this could be the last opportunity for commercial landscapers to buy battery-powered gear at a fraction of its retail price.
You can share details of MBARD’s Landscape Equipment Exchange Program (LEEP) with your own landscaper by sending them the press release (which is in English and Spanish) or giving them the LEEP flyer (English | Spanish).
El Distrito de Recursos del Aire de la Bahía de Monterey (MBARD) se complace en ofrecer el Programa de Intercambio de Equipos de Paisajismo (LEEP). A partir del 6 de noviembre de 2023, los residentes y las operaciones comerciales en los condados de Monterey, Santa Cruz y San Benito pueden recibir un incentivo financiero mientras mejoran la calidad del aire en sus vecindarios al reemplazar equipos de jardinería viejos, de combustión (por ejemplo, cortadoras de césped y sopladores de hojas) con equipos nuevos, inalámbricos y de cero emisiones.