Letters to the Editor

Leaf blowers get a bad name

I read with deep interest your May 25 article about leaf blowers by Linda Robertson, “Could this be the worst noise ever?”

Leaf blowers give and get an earful. Here’s a paragraph from the article:

“Conceived as a labor-saving machine to ease the yard work burden on mankind, leaf blowers are now despised as polluters of tranquility and air. The high, screaming frequency gets under people’s skin. The dust gets under people’s fingernails. The leaves and grass clippings get blown away temporarily, but then they come back, like taxes and dirty laundry. Part of the hatred of leaf blowers stems from the fact that one’s lawn, like one’s life, always reverts to an unkempt state.”

The outdoor power equipment industry is committed to producing the quietest, cleanest machines for our workforce to use, and manufacturers continuously seek ways to innovate.

Unfortunately, the use of these machines often come into question.

Most troubling is the very real societal and economic divide around leaf blower use. It’s the minimum wage worker operating these machines that bear the brunt of the complaints.

As a workforce that is often paid by the job, not always by the hour, forcing them to use the less-efficient and tedious broom and rake for larger properties just doesn’t make sense.

Of course, that didn’t stop Palm Beach from banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers for any property under an acre.

This means the wealthier landowners will still be able to use whatever they want.

While everyone including our neighbors could do better around courteous use, such as using leaf blowers during off-hours, it’s an important tool, especially for some of our hardest workers — the landscapers who ensure our properties are clean and safe.

Kris Kiser,

president & CEO

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute