The village of Irvington strongly encourages its residents and landscapers who work in the village to adopt Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (LELE) practices on their property, providing a chemical-free landscape and enabling a mix of habitats for overwintering fauna. See more about this in our Healthy Yards page. However, for the areas where leaves must be cleared, using rakes or electric equipment is the sustainable and conscientious solution.
Ban on Leaf Blowers starting Dec 16 2023
Gas-powered leaf blowers pollute the environment in 3 ways: exhaust emissions, noise, and particulates/dust blown into the air. Per the Department of Environmental Conservation website: "Emissions from gas-powered leaf blowers are substantial. The amount of CO (carbon monoxide) emitted from a typical backpack leaf blower for just 1 hour is equal to CO coming from the tailpipe of a current year automobile operating for over 8 hours. For the other pollutants, the amounts are even greater." Click here to learn more about a state bill prohibiting gas-powered leaf and lawn blowers.
In Westchester, a growing number of municipalities have already enacted strict regulations or outright bans on the use of gas powered leaf blowers. Irvington has a schedule, required permits and a ban coming in 2023. See Local Law #8 2020
The village has already converted 90% of its gas powered leaf blower and mower equipment to electric, with the remaining 10% of gas powered machines retained as backup for extreme circumstances.
Homeowners: If you employ a landscaper or have a neighbor who regularly operates a leaf blower, please talk with them about effective alternatives for clearing leaves, mowed grass and driveways / walkways. As the client, you have a right to demand the type of lawn care services provided by your landscaper.
Demand practices that are both courteous and environmentally sound. If they can't or won't manage their employees' use of leaf blowers on your property and throughout your neighborhood, it's time to look for a company that will. Healthy Yards has compiled this list of Sustainable Landscapers.
Our printable flyer (PDF) contains important, information (outlined above) about the negative environmental impacts of leaf blowing. Consider distributing it to others. If you already use good environmental practices in caring for your property, thank you.
Resources for Healthier Landscaping Practices:
Learn more about Health Yards and Pollinator Pathways on our site.
For additional resources on sustainable landscaping, see:
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) www.nofa.org
Ecological Landscape Alliance www.ecolandscaping.org
Native Plant Center www.sunywcc.edu/about.npc
Healthy Yards www.healthyyards.org
Leave Leaves Alone www.leaveleavesalone.org
AGZA American Green Zone Alliance www.agza.net
Cornell University Extension www.westchester.cce.cornell.edu/horticulture