Noisy, gas-powered leaf blowers will soon be banned in Mississauga, residents hope


Published February 2, 2023 at 2:12 pm

Noisy, gas-powered leaf blowers that bother residents and pollute the air look to be on their way out in Mississauga.

That’s the hope of the Mississauga Residents’ Associations Network (MIRANET) and at least one City councillor who’s been pushing for a switch to battery-operated blowers for several years now.

Appearing Wednesday morning (Feb. 1) at the City of Mississauga’s final budget deliberations session before the City’s comprehensive financial plan was approved, MIRANET member Chris Mackie told councillors his group’s Climate Action Plan calls for, among other things, the end of gas-powered leaf blowers.

MIRANET, a city-wide network of residents groups, is pushing for “use of electric battery leaf blowers in place of high-powered, noisy gasoline leaf blowers.”

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who on several occasions in recent years has raised the issue around the council table, said she asked City staff earlier this week about “those nasty, gas-blowing leaf blowers.”

And she said she received a good answer.

“What’s being worked on by industry and the City is a way to produce batteries that will hold a charge for the right length of time so we’re not slowed down in our work, and they’re kind of on the cusp of getting there,” Parrish told the MIRANET representative and her council colleagues.

“And our staff said it would be impossible for us to pass a bylaw for the rest of the city unless we do it ourselves first. So, we’re on it and our staff is on it. But I agree with you 100 per cent, especially when you get two gardening people in the neighbourhood that are going berserk and they all blow (the leaves) out onto the road…”

Mississauga launched a Green Tools pilot project back in 2021 that included the introduction of all-electric, battery-powered grass-cutting equipment, trimmers and leaf blowers for its crews working the city’s greenspaces.

The ongoing pilot, it’s hoped, will lead to Mississauga being the only, or among a very few municipalities in Canada to outfit a complete operational crew to use battery-operated equipment only.

The transition to all-electric equipment will reduce carbon emissions, limit noise, increase safety for employees and align with the City’s Climate Change Action Plan.

The new products are being used by municipal parks staff who maintain the city’s greenspaces. 

Mississauga maintains 3,154 hectares (7,794 acres) of parkland—including more than 500 parks, 371 sports fields, 327 km of trails, 263 play sites, 12 cemeteries and two marinas. 

Over the next few years, older equipment will be replaced by the new products as the older products reach the end of their lifespan.   

The City says the project is part of its Climate Change Action Plan, which includes the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 and, ideally, transforming Mississauga into a net-zero community. 

At a November 2021 council meeting where the matter was raised, Parrish pointed to an oft-cited study by U.S.-based automotive information site Edmunds that shows “a consumer-grade (gas) leaf blower emits more pollutants than a 6,200-pound 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor” heavy-duty pickup truck. 

She said at the time that to limit or get rid “of the big, bad leaf blowers” for their annoying noise is one thing, “…but now to realize how much pollution it’s producing is really upsetting.” 

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