Mow down air pollution: Trade in your gas-powered lawn mower

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Vehicles get most of the attention when it comes to air pollution, but a single gas-powered lawn mower used 45 minutes each week for a year is equal to driving 22,000 miles in a new passenger car, according to the Air Quality Management District, the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of the L.A. area.

To combat those emissions, the AQMD runs an annual Lawn Mower Exchange that allows Southern California residents to trade their gas mowers for electric ones at a price significantly lower than retail. The gas mowers are scrapped through a local metal recycler.

Now in its ninth year, the AQMD Lawn Mower Exchange will offer five different types of electric mowers priced from $100 to $230. In total, 6,600 electric mowers will be made available. Interested residents just need to make a reservation.

The Lawn Mower Exchange kicks off Saturday in Palm Desert. Weekly events continue through July 23 with exchanges in Long Beach, Inglewood, Riverside, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Northridge and Anaheim.


AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood said the air pollution benefits of electric mowers aren’t only for the general public.

‘Anytime you use a gas mower, you’re smelling those emissions and breathing that air pollution into your lungs,’ Atwood said. ‘Using an electric mower eliminates personal exposure to lawn mower emissions.’


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-- Susan Carpenter