Regardless of Teale Phelps Bondaroff’s motives behind his drive to ban gas-powered leaf blowers, he has our support.
Greater Victoria has idling bylaws and yet this leaf-blowing pestilence roams freely: any time, any day, year round.
Not only are leaf blowers a gas-guzzling, noise-producing, all-round environmental nuisance, but their use is also the epitome of laziness in action. The next time someone’s swinging the thing back and forth, notice the debris just flying and settling elsewhere; thus, becoming someone else’s problem. And, you can bet the blower handler hasn’t even broken a sweat. Well, we have this problem in our backyard.
We have enough yard work to do without having to clean up what next door’s maintenance crew dumps on us. The debris from their parking lot is simply whooshed through our fence and onto our property, into our neighbours’ backyards, and worse still, it contains all manner of weed seeds, which, once established, become impossible to control. And it’s not only gardening companies doing this, but also municipal employees — because no one seems to care about the mess left in their wake.
Since leaf blowers became a must-have tool and rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows went the way of the horse and cart, our streets and neighbourhoods are noticeably shabbier. Saanich no longer runs mechanized street sweepers like they used to. In the fall and throughout winter, clumps of decaying leaves blown off sidewalks and people’s properties, lie in slippery, soggy messes on the roads, clog up gutters and make the roads slick for pedestrians, bike riders, and even drivers.
Therefore, all the leaf-blower power to Bondaroff in his effort to rid society of the most useless tool on the planet, but one with a far-reaching annoyance factor. Once gone, who will miss them? Only those learning how to use rakes and their own backbone. At least sweat never harmed neither human, nor the environment, and imagine the bliss with one less machine in the world.
Jana Kalina and Larry Duberry