Rather than disputing statements about the health and quality of life
issues made by those seeking the ban, blower supporters . . .change[d]
the subject, because theres nothing they can say to defend the blower
|Miscellaneous claims regarding
time differences between blowers and rake and broom gathering of leaves,
dust and debris.
Claimed studies showed a 300-500% increase in work time without blowers.
All studies referred
to by blower supporters in the Los Angeles and California State
cases were found to be misinterpreted, nonexistent, or did not relate
to residential landscape maintenance. Most were merely opinions.
As noted in the Economics, Work Time Overview section:
ARB reports state that additional work time might be 5%-15% more,
if at all.
In three timed tests at the Los Angeles Department of Water and
Power, it took only 30 seconds longer for rake and broom than for
gas blower to clear leaves and debris. Rake and broom were
faster than other blowers (DWPtest).
Raw footage taped for The Learning Channel production "Inventions
We Love to Hate" aired October 17, 2001, shows a 25% difference
in worktime for gathering the same amount of leaves from grass.
Had gardener and volunteer worked at the same speed, as previously
agreed, it is estimated the difference would have been 15%. Removal
of leaves was not included in this analysis.
One homeowner who has 2 acres, timed the leaf cleanup of half-an-acre
with a rake. It took him only four minutes longer than a using a
|City of Whittier concluded
that a job that took 2.25 labor hours with a backpack leaf blower
took. . .282 [hours] with a broom! California Landscape Contractors
Association position paper.
|The ending exclamation point
is appropriate. This is an unbelievable assessment, especially
when compared with other findings in the same report of opinions.
Like other reports referred to by blower supporters, it appears to
be a consolidation of opinions, or guesses, based on unscientific
observations. Its purpose was to support city department
Upon receipt of a letter
from a ZAP member requesting clarification of confusing disparities
within the report, the City manager stated that there had been no
showed it would be more expensive to clean out the stadium with brooms.
|The Pasadena Rose Bowl,
especially after a game, is not representative of residential neighborhood,
or any other lawn and garden maintenance clean up. We do not
have facts regarding the accuracy of this study, who designed it,
who oversaw it, what their affiliations were, or whether or not it
was conducted in an unbiased manner, as was the Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power study which is noted above.
It is unlikely that clean up of this magnitude is conducted by the
small-business or independent gardeners who refer to this study to
back up their claims that they would have to go on welfare if they
can not use blowers.
|Landscape Contractors association
members estimate of cost increases from 20% - 40% to perform same
functions without blowers.
CLCA Position Paper (97.6.3)
|Again, estimates, not unbiased,
Though much higher than ARB, homeowner and grassroots group estimates,
these are figures worth looking at if they were limited to the same
jobs done by blowers only, i.e. gathering leaves, dust and debris.
It should be noted that this claim does not differentiate between
residential locations and business locations, or between gas and electric
There are machines other than blowers available to quickly clean large
open hardscape (patios, decks, walkways, driveways, sidewalks, gutters,
streets). They vacuum or sweep up dust and debris. See
The L.A. ban on gas blowers within 500 feet of a residence does not
eliminate electric blowers and does not affect business locations
beyond 500 feet from a residence, even though the noise may echo far
from parking structures and off of shopping mall walls.
|We do this house now
in an hour with three people. . . We would have to stay for three
hours with heavy broom. (98.2.8)
|This seems to say that it
takes three-man hours now, which we must assume includes mowing, trimming
and other work. If they stop using a blower, would they use
a broom instead of a rake on the lawn?
The quoted statement indicates that their work time would increase
to nine man-hours just to do leaf, dust and debris gathering with
a broom. That seems an overstatement.
This is an example of many instances of incomplete reporting by the
press. No follow-up questions appear to have been asked to gain
realistic facts, so that employers can apply facts to their own unique
|Claimed it would take 40%
longer to work without blowers.
|This would mean a ten minute
clean-up, for instance, would take approximately four minutes longer.
|It takes 20 minutes with blower.
It would take 3-4 hours with a rake. (98.8.2)
|This suggest it would take
9-to-12 times longer to use a rake. The highest estimate ever.
How about a combination of rake and broom? Especially on hardscape.
Rakes work best for large items such as leaves and debris, followed
up by a broom for dust and dirt.
|Claimed the work takes 5 times
longer to work without blowers.
||These figures would mean
a ten minute clean-up, for instance, would take about an hour, just
for gathering leaves and debris
|It takes about 5 minutes
to clean up a driveway with a backpack blower and at least 15 minutes
to do the same job with a broom Val Santelli, owner of Great
Neck based garden center. (98.7.1)
|Blowers are disturbing and
irritating neighbors so driveways can look spotless for the few minutes
it takes for another leaf to fall!
|Average gardener will lose
50% of his income
|There are no reports of
this having occurred. If this web site should get such a report,
we would want to verify it.
|. . .work will take
twice as long. . .customers are not willing to pay more (98.1.3
[I] wont raise rates. They wouldnt
pay me if I did. (98.2.4)
Many of the men said their customers are not willing
to pay more for slower work.
|Of all ZAP
Survey99 participants, only one had ever been asked for a raise,
though 86% stated they would be willing to discuss a pay and/or work
load adjustment with a worker who was willing to discontinue the use
This is an assumption on the part of gardeners. When asked,
all gardeners questioned by ZAP members admit no customers were actually
asked for raises for fear of being fired.
Reporters do not seem to follow up these statements in order to contact
customers referred to for verification.
|The price increase would
clearly cause many people already on the edge of poverty to lose their
(CA State Senate Business and Professions Committee SB1651 Bill Analysis
of April 13, 1998, Comments 1.Purpose)
|There have been no reports
of any competent, reliable gardeners in Los Angeles or Santa Barbara
losing their jobs since the ban on gasoline leaf blowers. Should
we receive information that would appear to prove otherwise, we would
seek to confirm it.
the right to earn a living wage
-- Gardeners Association representative (98.1.4)
|Did the same
gardeners association offer business and communication skills
workshops to teach workers how to ask for and to justify a raise?
Had the Association worked with the L.A.
City Community Development Department for specialized Business
Assistance for independent and small business gardeners? Did
they offer group health insurance? Do they make bulk purchases
of equipment and re-sell at cost to members? It is not the responsibility
of ban advocates to do so.
|There are too many of
us . . .Theres too much competition now. A gardener. (98.1.10)
|Competition is a problem
in many businesses. However, leaf blower regulations and bans
do not create the competition.
|The ban would unfairly
disadvantage gardeners by making their jobs more time-consuming.
attributed to Opponents, including several L.A. City Council
|Adjusting to market demands,
laws and regulations is a part of every business. Trade associations
should disseminate business advice.
|City taking away peoples
ability to earn a living. State representative. (98.1.9)
|This politician could help
by introducing legislation to provide business classes or negotiation
training to these workers. He could use the press and newsletters
to educate the public about reasonable pay increases, instead of using
The city of Los Angeles offers business assistance and entrepreneurial
training through their Community
Do the workers know the self-employed can get into the Social Security
system by figuring out their contribution and entering it on their
tax forms. If they earn more than $400 per year, they are required
by law to do so. Remember, the Social Security system may include
Medicare when these workers are Seniors.
Fact Sheet #05-10022, If you Are Self Employed can be
picked up in local offices, found through 800 772-1213.
|I dont have another
way to buy food for my kids without using the blower . . .Thats
how I earn my living. Do they want my family to be homeless?
We dont want you, your family, our own families, or others to
be affected by blower pollution or stress, either.
The blower is only one tool. It serves only one purpose, and
there are alternative tools for that. It doesnt mow grass,
trim hedges, water or plant flowers. It is not the whole job.
|[If prices are raised,]
newer immigrant gardeners might undercut prices and steal customers.
-- A Gardener (98.2.8)
|This is a real concern to
independent contractors and small businesses in California.
Where employers are shown a realistic increase in work time without
blowers, many will agree to discuss rational increases in pay for
gardeners who have been reliable in the past. (See
Survey99) Some of these increases may be only a few dollars
per employer per month, but would keep the income of the worker consistent
with that earned with blowers.
Where employers do not want to raise prices, they can adjust cleanliness
expectations, landscape design, or work patterns. For instance,
skip back or side yards on alternate weeks.
|One gardener said, Im
going to waste less money now, on gas ($60 a month), and to
buy and maintain expensive equipment. (96.5.1)
|And on the time it takes
to purchase gas, refill gas blowers, and clean up spills.