There is a fight brewing over the tools used to clear lawn debris. On January 1, 2023, gas-powered leaf blowers will be banned on Sanibel.
The City of Sanibel sent a letter saying that people must switch to electric leaf blowers before Jan. 1. Initially, the city had banned using gas-powered leaf blowers after 9 p.m.
The group that called for the ban is a renewable energy working group that says gas-powered leaf blowers are bad for the environment.
This has landscapers like Jesus Hernandez, who has owned a landscaping company for 20 years, frustrated and fighting back.
Hernandez says a gas blower is quick, and switching to an electric one will cost landscapers more time and money, which means they won’t be able to complete as many jobs as they did before in a day.
“The blower start at $2,000, and the batteries are $500. They only last about four or five hours, so we’re gonna have to find a way of charging these things up at the job site,” said Hernandez. “We’re gonna have to spend a lot more time on each visit, so we’re gonna have to charge more quarterly because now, for example, if we’re gonna be there for a half hour, we’re gonna have to be there for an hour and a half or so.”
Landscapers say the new rule will cost them time and money, especially during hurricane season. They say if the power goes out when they are working, it will be hard to find places to charge electric leaf blowers.
Hernandez and other landscapers will be at the Sanibel City Council meeting Monday morning to voice their displeasure with the ban.