Leaf Blowers

Proposed Village Amendment to Extend Current Restrictions on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

At the July 22, 2021 public meeting held in Village Hall, Bronxville’s trustees proposed a more restrictive ordinance on gas-powered leaf blowers.

In Bronxville, gas-powered leaf blowers are currently banned from June 1 until September 30. This amendment will extend the ban from December 15th to March 15th and again from May 15th to October 15th. As a result, gas-powered leaf blowers will only be permitted during the more difficult Spring and Fall clean-up periods; however, electric-powered leaf blowers will still be permitted all year.

Since early 2020 grievances about gas-powered leaf blowers have been the number one resident complaint to Village Hall. Concerns include noise pollution, lower quality of life, and negative impacts on our health and environment.

At the request of Mayor Marvin and the Village Trustees, the Bronxville Green Committee spent numerous months evaluating this issue and proposing solutions that protect our health and environment while understanding residents’ desire to manage their personal property as they see fit.

For more information, please see the Green Committee’s report on gas-powered leaf blowers and the proposed local law.

The public may submit written comment now to jpalmer@vobny.com or attend the public hearing on September 13, 2021.

Gas-powered leaf blowers are an effective way to remove leaves, but they’re also the #1 source of complaints in Bronxville and they pose considerable health risks.

Health risks of gas-powered leaf blowers include:

  • loud noise that penetrates walls, disrupts daily life, damages hearing, and raises stress so as to imperil human health.

  • air pollution and increased greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

  • increased particles in the air, including mold, pesticides, animal feces and other contaminants, which are associated with increased respiratory illnesses.

  • increased health risks for the people operating them, especially if they don’t wear protective gear.

Environmental risks of gas-powered leaf blowers include:

  • dry out and compact the soil around plants.

  • increase run-off during rainstorms, making plants less effective at holding water and helping to control flooding.

  • increase erosion that harms your plants and clogs local waterways.

  • disturb or destroy habitat for pollinators, insects that support them, and other birds and small mammals, contributing to global declines in population for these species that are starting to effect global food chains.

Electric-powered leaf blowers are a better option.

  • Electric-powered leaf blowers are quieter and far safer for the environment and humans.

  • If they are charged with electricity generated by wind or solar, they have zero net emissions.

However, electric-powered leaf blowers are not perfect. They may not be powerful enough during times of heaviest leaf fall. They still kick up particles in the soil that can be harmful to breathe in. And by denuding the ground under your plants, like gas-powered blowers, they rob pollinators and the insects that feed them, of places to hibernate over the winter. Again, the best option is to mulch your leaves!