fb-pixel Skip to main content

That sound you hear is the push for quieter leaf-blowing solutions

Re “Autumn angst: Armed with a new noise law, Newtonites go to battle against leaf blowers” by Dugan Arnett (Page A1, Nov. 9): Quiet Communities is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to transition landscape maintenance to low-noise, zero-emissions practices through positive solutions. The problem in Newton happens when a so-called stick is used first, instead of a carrot. Transitioning to electric technology is best started with positive incentives to engage operators and let the cleaner alternatives prove themselves. Proper education and training are essential to select the right equipment, adequately power the equipment, achieve comparable productivity to gas, and use the equipment safely. Financial incentives and active promotion of green businesses are needed.

Good models exist. More than 100 companies now operate with advanced electric equipment, and at competitive rates. Harvard, Tufts, and Yale are among the schools making the shift. In 2016, South Pasadena, Calif., became the first city in the nation, according to the American Green Zone Alliance, to maintain all municipal grounds with low-noise, zero-emissions tools. Southampton, N.Y., is following suit.


The burgeoning use of noisy, polluting equipment threatens health, the environment, and quality of life. Public recognition of the problem and support for positive solutions would go a long way toward a cleaner, quieter, healthier environment in Massachusetts.

Jamie L Banks
Executive director
Quiet Communities