Seconded, and can we install less fucking loud and obnoxious reverse beeps for the constant bulldozing at 5am when nobody is in the road or even within range of the site? I'll retire to Bedlam.


Unless you want to be walking around on a bunch of gross slippery compost come spring you've got to clear the leaves off. It's a pretty minor price to pay compared to the advantages of having trees in public areas. A guy with a leaf blower can do the work of a whole crew of workers with rakes. That the blower burns some small amount of fuel (about a pint/hour) is completely negligible compared to the energy costs of having a whole crew traveling to the job site to do it by hand.


Sounds like you're advocating for the banning of gas-powered leaf blowers, which makes more sense but is still impractical. Perhaps you didn't know that there are rechargeable battery-powered leaf blowers. I own one, and it's great for clearing storm debris off the porches and driveway. Yeah, it's noise pollution, but zero carbon emissions. Hydropower and all.

You also missed the obvious Mudede angle, which is that crews using blowers commonly push the leaves from private property on to a public right-of-way, which generates flooding of city streets when heavy rainfall arrives.

3/10, would crit Mudede again.


@5 you are wrong. You can blow the leaves into a pile,then pick them up into a recyclable compost lawn bag and then tie them up. There are also facilities where you can take them and they can be turned into mulch and compost fertilizer for your garden so you can grow me another argument. 😂😄


@6 Sure you can; I have a neighbor who just did that without the leaf lower used the old school method and raked up 8 bags of leafs. But that doesn't mean they are the norm; where everyone else on the block just lets the rain move it closer to the street because if there's no sidewalk why should we care about this?


People slip and fall on wet leaves. Unless people want to absolve the city of liability then they will prob be necessary.


Only a raving commie'd consider giving Earth/a viable Biosphere any say in what we do with/to her.

If ya cannot rape Mother Earth, for massive Profiteerings, who can ya? Nah, the adults are making Money. Buzz off.

Oh and "Socialism"? "Handouts"?

Please -- when Big Money goes to big ag ($33B) and Big Fossil $33B), it isn't "socialism."

It's America, Taking Care of Business.
Good luck!


Makita makes a super nice, relatively quiet, 36v rechargeable cordless electric blower. We humans, we dream things into existence.
We conceptualize something that does not currently exist, that should exist, and through the process of many minds and hands and imaginations working together, we bring it into existence.
Electric cars, cell phones, gay marriage, legal pot, the list goes on and on.
The noise and pollution you associate with leaf blowers is simply an artifact of faulty prototypes, it does not inhere into the pure form (in Platonic terms) of the leaf blower.


@12: That's a very elegant way to say that they're annoying.


What should be banned is your use of a camera and photoshop. Like what is with that completely messed up image?
Having said that it is still better than all the Getty images!


It’s about time! Los Angeles banned them a long time ago. Leaf blowers pollute 3 ways: (1) Blowing dust & dirt into the atmosphere, (2) Polluting gas fumes, and (3) Ridiculous levels of noise pollution... #BanLeafBlowersNow


@12, I own the Makita and it's really nice but most people don't want to spend that kind of money on a blower or the batteries. If you're blowing leaves all day commercially you'd need a dozen 5ah batteries which would cost about $1,000. Doable for a commercial operation, but a gallon or less of gas is cheaper and easier.
Landscapers won't switch to battery power unless they're forced to by an act of local government as they did in LA.


Leaf blowers: Anathema sit!


@15, Have you ever actually spent any time in LA? Supposedly all gas leaf blowers are banned, but in practice it's basically never enforced unless you're being super-obnoxious and are a private resident. There was huge backlash from landscapers when it passed and it has basically never been enforced for them.

(I think in LA there's a strong argument to be made that the reliance on the leaf blower is just one small component of a generally unsustainable landscape aesthetic, but up here in the PNW if you allow anything to grow it's going to drop some sort of organic detritus all over the place.)

Electric leaf blowers have traditionally not worked very well. The new versions that evidently do are a very new development (and are still very expensive) but like the electric car their day is probably nigh.


This made me so happy. Exactly right.


Also, to people’s points, if you travel the worlds great cities (Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Rome, Berlin, just to name a few, the city workers do use brooms and rakes. It is a job just like any parks job, like any solid blue collar job can be, and the workers are respected because they are beautifying the city, and they earn money. You don’t have to rely on some sort of permanent underclass...not that we have a shortage of jobs that offer that in the USA...but this needn’t be one of them.


Get a life, Charles


Charles, nice steal from the post on Crosscut two days ago -


About a decade ago I was doing a lot of public events for City Light, and encouraging people to convert gasoline-powered garden tools like leaf blowers and lawnmowers to electric ones. But since there were no incentives available, it was a tough sell. About the only thing we could say was that electric was quieter and less smelly.


I rake my leaves and your long winded article had enough hot air to clear an acre of leaves.


Electric is greener, and our Mayor cares nothing for the citizens who live here, only for her suburban paymasters.


Someone on Crosscut writes an article about banning leaf blowers on 11/27. Charles follows up with his take on 11/29. What sort of conspiracy of fools is this?
oh, I see @22 noted this already :)
It is completely ridiculous to make it more difficult for laborers to do work. Making people rake leaves is antediluvian. Get your nose out of other people's business.
Why oh why does Charles just write clickbait? Ostensibly he's more intelligent that this. But here I am, the sucker, clicking on it.


I just wish (1) leaf blowers were quieter, and (2) people operating them would (a) cease blowing large, gritty dust clouds into pedestrians and especially cyclists, and (b) at least bag the leaves (for composting), instead of just 'blowing them around' temporarily. The inherent futility of the latter is confusing. Why not just do the job right the first time?

I personally use my raked leaves as house compost-bin balance (the 'brown' component mixed to the 'green' of the food waste). Obvs not an option for everyone.

@12 - Why hasn't anyone dreamed up a "leaf vacuum" that sucks leaves into the bags for easy package & transport?
And to your greater point, people have been 'dreaming' of a socially egalitarian civilization for centuries, yes somehow we haven't managed to bring that into existence yet. So there may be limits to our manifestation powers.


I got it! What if someone at AWS invents an app that rakes your leaves for you? If they can deliver packages, they can rake your leaves.

Until the bots come.


They can call it Rakeshare.


Treacle dear, there already is a leaf vacuum! Many leaf blowers have a vacuum setting with a bag to collect what is sucked up. There are also leaf vacuums that look like lawn mowers. We have one.

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