Landscaping in Vancouver parks should be emission-free, says commissioner
'It's an amazing amount, a frightening amount of pollutants … that it produces,' says commissioner
Vancouver park commissioners will discuss phasing out gas- and oil-powered landscaping equipment in the city's parks at a meeting this Monday.
Green Party commissioner Dave Demers has put forward the motion to study replacing gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and hedge trimmers with electric alternatives.
"It's an amazing amount, a frightening amount of pollutants, not just CO2 but a bunch, a variety of pollutants that it produces," said Demers of the equipment.
In 2017, the California Air Resources Board reported that operating a commercial lawn mower for one hour emits as much pollution as driving a Toyota Camry 480 kilometres. For a commercial leaf blower, the pollution produced was equivalent to driving 1,800 kilometres.
Demers, who runs a landscaping company, says the carcinogenic exhaust and greenhouse gases from the machinery create a health hazard for Park Board workers and the population in general.
He also says the engines create excessive noise in residential areas.
Did you know that gas powered landscape machines are some of the worst polluters? <a href="https://twitter.com/daveforparks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@daveforparks</a> is working to make our parks emission free! His motion aims at replacing gas-powered equipment with emission-free alternatives <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VanPoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#VanPoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/greenaction?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#greenaction</a><a href="https://t.co/paFRwqJj3P">https://t.co/paFRwqJj3P</a> <a href="https://t.co/0a0IlemjmG">pic.twitter.com/0a0IlemjmG</a>—@VanGreens
Demers wants park staff to develop a plan for phasing out gas-powered equipment by purchasing battery-powered replacements as the old machines wear out.
"Every year, batteries, equipment itself that's battery-powered, improves dramatically," says Demers who's been transitioning his business out of emissions for three years.
"I would never go back to gas-powered. It's so much easier and much more fun as well to use battery powered equipment."
Demers wants park staff to study the costs of implementing the phase-out as well as the potential reduction of carbon emissions and increased productivity.
He said the park board could recuperate the cost of the new emission-free equipment through gas savings.
He's also speaking with Green Party colleagues on the Vancouver School Board about making a similar transition for equipment used on school grounds.