After enacting a seasonal ban on gas-powered commercial leaf blowers this year, Maplewood officials are ready to take their experience to a bigger audience,
Spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Nancy Adams, the Township is hosting a conference titled, “The Future of Landscape Maintenance: Growing Profits with New Technologies.” The event takes place Tuesday, October 17, 8 am−1:30 pm at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Rd, Maplewood. (Pre-registration is $30; walk-in registration will be $35 at the door. Register here.)
“Fossil fuels are the biggest factor in climate change,” Adams told Village Green. “In California — a state so reliant on cars — by 2020, the emissions from gas-powered leaf blowers are predicted to surpass all of those cars! Think about that. This new normal is not good for humans. So as we try to protect our residents from fossil fuel emissions, noise and air pollutants with the restrictions on gas powered leaf blowers for now, we want to start working on a regional level to try to do the best we can do to save our environment and health of our residents. This is the reason for this workshop: to educate so that decisions can be made by our elected officials on a regional basis because air and water pollution does not stop at someone’s property line.”
The Maplewood ordinance bans gas-powered leaf blowers by commercial entities fromMay 15 through September 30 each year. The ban has been the subject of much debate, evoking passionate response during its hearings. However, active opposition seems to have dissipated since its enactment, with many landscapers switching to cleaner, quieter electric blowers. The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association filed for an injunction last spring, but it was not granted.
An email from the Township stated, “There has been no increase in fees by landscape companies nor any noticeable difference in the maintenance of the lawns in town. Meanwhile, Maplewood has been quieter and cleaner as a result. Come to this half day workshop to learn all the reasons we need to start focusing on the dangers of gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment to our densely populated suburbs in NJ.”
Read the full event press release:
Maplewood, NJ. With its finger on the pulse of advancing technology, the Township of Maplewood along with non-profit, Quiet Communities, and the American Green Zone Alliance will host a regional workshop to educate municipalities’ staffs, commercial lawn maintenance companies, and residents on how they can become involved in promoting clean, quiet, healthy landscape maintenance practices in their communities, while actually improving their bottom lines. The workshop entitled The Future of Landscape Maintenance: Growing Profits with New Technologies, will be held Tuesday, October 17th, 8 am−1:30 pm at The Woodland (60 Woodland Rd, Maplewood, NJ). Pre-registration is $30; walk-in registration will be $35 at the door. Register.
Maplewood is interested in promoting positive solutions in landscape maintenance through the use of advanced electric battery operated equipment that offers equal performance to gas-powered equipment with zero emissions and low noise, while saving on fuel and maintenance costs. Maplewood recently enacted a seasonal ban on gas leaf blowers based on concerns with their health and environmental impacts consistent with national and state agency recommendations and actions by over 100 communities nationwide. Maplewood has also begun replacing gas-powered equipment in its Department of Public Works by purchasing three battery-operated commercial-grade leaf blowers. The Township plans to continue this trend as equipment needs to be replaced.
The workshop will include panels on Health and Environment, Business, and Community Models and feature noted health experts, business leaders, and community leaders. (See Preliminary Program). Attendees will learn about the impacts of fuel-based practices; the practicalities, benefits, and economics of implementing sustainable solutions; community activities; and “Green Collar” workforce development. A hands-on demonstration of commercial grade electric battery-powered mowers and handheld equipment will conclude the half-day event.
Quiet Communities is an independent national nonprofit organization, Quiet Communities providing research, education, and outreach and working with the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) to bring on-the-ground solution-based programs to the Eastern US. AGZA is the global leader in sustainable zero-emission grounds maintenance strategies, offering the AGZA Service Provider Accreditation program and the AGZA Green Zone® Certification program.