PLATFORM : Banning Blowers

BARRY KONIER, president of the Orange County-Long Beach chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Assn., comments on Laguna Beach's new law banning leaf blowers, which takes effect in July:

There's a big additional expense because it takes more hours to get a broom to sweep things up.

People have to be trained to use blowers properly. I've seen instances where a gardener is blowing off sidewalks and here comes a lady with a baby carriage. All of a sudden they're dusted out. Common sense tells you to take the blower and turn it a different direction, or you stop and wait. I think that's where the problem is. Our people are trained, so we don't just blow things on the sidewalks and curbs. That is definitely pollution. But if you go around in a circle and put it in a pile and then pick it up, that's how leaf blowers should be used. To me, the biggest abuse is to see gardeners do their mowing and then blow everything into the street and walk away. They shouldn't be allowed to use them.

The other thing is, how do you enforce a ban? You can't use blowers in Beverly Hills, but we see gardeners using them all the time. You have to hire full-time people to go out and monitor them, and there's a big cost to do that.

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