The City of Beaconsfield is considering a partial ban on gas-powered leaf blowers after multiple residents complained about the noisy machines.
Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said residents have shown up to countless council meetings over the last few months complaining — not just for the noise, but also about the pollution.
“You have fertilizer, fecal matter, and it goes up in the air,” Bourelle said in an interview with Global News.
“It stays suspended in the air for a long time and people with breathing problems are affected, people with asthma are affected.”
The city commissioned Léger Marketing to conduct a survey of residents in April, asking them about leaf blowers; the results are expected mid-May.
Bourelle said he will bring the results to city council and will most likely recommend banning leaf blowers in the summer months, from June to September.
“We think leaf blowers are called leaf blowers to blow leaves and leaves are in the spring and fall,” he told Global News.
“So, we would accept leaf blowers be used in the spring and fall to do the work they are supposed to do.”
Bourelle says contractors use leafblowers in the summer for many other purposes, including cleaning properties and grass clippings, but they should use other tools instead.
Some private contractors complain electric leaf-blowers are inefficient and expensive.
This spring, the City of Westmount initially moved to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, but backtracked after contractors complained.
“I think they should have done much more consultation with the contractors,” said Westmount Municipal Association President Paul Marriott.
“As far as I understand, they did none initially and then they did consultations afterward. In theory, it was a good idea, but in practice, it was too quick because they had not confirmed electric leaf blowers were practically available.”
Nevertheless, Westmount’s public works department is using electric leaf blowers this spring on a trial basis.
“They need to be charged more often,” said Franco Carucci, a foreman in Westmount’s public works department.
“Charging time right now is a little bit long. We would need to have a back up system when we are working all day long.”
Carucci added he expects the kinks to be worked out, and says at the end of the day the electric ones are better for the environment and public works will adapt to them.
Any decision Beaconsfield council makes to ban gas leaf blowers will take affect next summer.