Landscaping industry responds to potential gas leaf blower ban in Portland
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - With a proposal made public by Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, the landscaping industry is pushing back.
Doug Crimin, an account manager at Pacific Landscape Management, said a ban is not the solution at this moment in time because the technology isn’t there for a full transition to battery-powered equipment. He said this would greatly impact the landscape industry, especially for smaller contractors.
With technology still in its early phases, the current cost is too high to be sustainable.
“There is still a lot of unknowns at this point from infrastructure to, safety equipment, to recycling batteries, this is still something we have to wrap our minds around,” Crimin said.
This doesn’t mean the industry is against going green. Crimin said as an environmentally focused industry, they are always looking for ways to be environmentally conscious.
On Monday, the American Green Zone Alliance and the National Association of Landscape Professionals held a symposium on Nike’s campus. One of the topics of conversation is, transition to electric-powered equipment like leaf blowers
“It was great to get everyone together to hear everyone’s insight and answer questions about what this transition is going to look like,” Crimin said.
One of the concerns, especially during the fall months, is how long battery-powered leaf blowers will last and if they will be powerful enough to gather all fallen leaves.
“Every day the models are getting better and better, they’re producing more power,” Crimin said.
Crimin is also the Environmental Chair for the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association. In a statement, he sent to FOX 12 on behalf of the organization the reads in part:
“OLCA remains committed to embracing innovation and supporting the transition to cleaner technologies. We propose a phased approach that allows for the gradual integration of eco-friendly alternatives while providing necessary resources and incentives to adapt.”
Commissioner Rubio’s office said they’re looking into incentives and they’re reaching out to industry leaders to discuss problems that have been raised. The earliest any ordinance would be brought before the council is 2024.
“The technology has advanced in the last five years,” Crimin. “I can’t see that it wouldn’t be fully electric in the next decade or so. We’re working with manufacturers to get us there. "
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