The District of Saanich owns 83 leaf blowers and Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the Saanich resident pushing for a gas-powered leaf blower ban, wants them replaced with electric models by 2025.
Phelps Bondaroff feels the District could phase out gas-powered models as they expire and replace them with greener models that produce less noise and less pollution.
The District’s leaf blowers are allocated to various departments and the Parks Department, the Public Works Section, the recreation centres and the Cedar Hill Golf Course.
While make and model data hasn’t been recorded for the eight leaf blowers used at Saanich’s recreation centres and the Cedar Hill Golf Course, the public works and parks departments keep detailed inventories.
They use 75 leaf blowers and seven are electric.
The parks department expects their leaf blowers – both gas-powered and electric – to have a life expectancy of five to seven years. All of the machines the department currently owns will need to be replaced by 2025 which melds with Phelps Bondaroff’s replacement suggestion.
He feels letting the District’s gas-powered leaf-blowers be used until they die and then replacing them with electric models would save Saanich money while still making a positive step towards reducing noise pollution and emissions – which would fit with the Districts’s carbon reduction plans.
“It’s a change that has to happen,” said Phelps Bondaroff. “It’s just about how and when.”
Phelps Bondaroff has a petition, with more than 300 signatures so far, that he plans to present it to council this winter.