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Posted on: July 16, 2021

Rec and Park to Phase Out Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers with Two-Stroke Engines

Leaf Blower

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Gardeners maintaining the City’s parks, open spaces and public plazas will soon turn over a new leaf—trading gas-powered blowers with two-stroke engines for electric battery pack models instead, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.  

Beginning next month, Rec and Park will cease purchasing gas-powered backpack blowers with two-stroke engines, replacing them over 18 months with greener, quieter electric blowers. Currently, 20 percent of the Department’s leaf blowers are electric. 

The particularly high emissions emitted from the two-stroke blower are due to its engine, which lacks an independent lubrication system, so fuel must be mixed with oil. This releases a number of pollutants into the air, including carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, and hydrocarbons. Battery powered blowers reduce noise to non-damaging levels and do not release the toxic exhaust emissions of two stroke cycle gas-powered blowers. 

“Environmental stewardship is critical to our mission.  Phasing out two-stroke, gas-powered blowers, along with the greenhouse gasses and smog compounds they release, is an important and proactive step we can take for the health of our planet and our park users,” said Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.  


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