Pilot Project: Electric Leaf Blowers


RATIONALE:
Commercial leaf blowers are typically 2-cycle gas-powered. These 2-cycle gas engines emit high levels of hearing-damaging low frequency sound and high levels of smog-forming pollutants that threaten the health of landscape workers and others in proximity. Incentivizing the transition away from gas-powered to electric leaf blowers is low-hanging fruit in reducing unhealthy air pollution and heat-trapping gas causing climate change.

GOALS:
Determine the hours of use of leaf blowers and thus, estimate the reduction in air pollution and heat-trapping gases by transitioning from gas to electric leaf blowers.
Determine the adequacy of electric leaf blowers to meet the needs of Seattle landscaping companies, the Seattle Public School District and the Seattle Parks Department.
Determine the preferred electric leaf blower for Seattle landscape companies, Seattle Public School District and the Seattle Parks & Recreation Department. Do they prefer a corded or cordless leaf blower and which brand do they prefer?

PROPOSAL SPECIFICS:
Advertise pilot project and invite participation by Seattle landscape companies. Also invite participation by Seattle Public School District and by Seattle Parks & Recreation Department.
Offer 2 electric leaf blowers (i.e. 2 corded, 1 corded & 1 cordless, or 2 cordless) per crew for up to 2 crews per landscape company for 10 landscape companies. Offer 2 electric leaf blowers per crew for 10 crews for the School District and 10 crews for the Parks Department. Participants will complete for selection of their leaf blowers.
Cost: ~$32,000 for Seattle landscape companies, ~$16,000 for Seattle Public School District, ~$16,000 for Seattle Parks & Recreation Department. Plus administrative costs.
Each participant crew will submit a weekly report on their daily electric leaf blower use over the course of one year using .


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