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  • PDEQ Lawn & Garden Equipment Emission Reduction Program Is Back In Action

    Oct 19, 2020 | Read More News
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    After cutting back on services due to the COVID-19, the Cut Down Pollution program is now functioning at full capacity to bring healthier air to our region. Residents in Pima County can trade gas-powered landscaping equipment for up to $400 worth of vouchers towards the purchase of zero emission electric-powered equipment (corded or battery) and in some cases, manual landscaping tools. Businesses can also participate for even greater incentives. All program participants are encouraged to follow guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) operates the program in partnership with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to minimize air pollution caused by the use of higher polluting gas-powered equipment. 

    Temperatures are finally cooling down and this is a perfect time to be working out in the yard. The long hot summer, locally-formed pollution, as well as emissions from wildfires caused multiple days of poor air quality during the last few months.  “We have had eight days so far this year when the air was in the unhealthy range,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager for PDEQ. “By retiring some of these noisy, messy higher-emitting engines and replacing them with quieter, less polluting equipment, we can improve air quality for people using the equipment and for the community in general,” said Gorman.  

    In exchange for retiring higher polluting gasoline-powered lawn mowers, a resident will receive a $150 voucher towards the purchase of a zero-emitting electric or battery operated lawn mower. Gas-powered mowers used for commercial purposes qualify for $200 vouchers to be used towards the purchase of electric (corded or battery) lawn mowers. Commercial use qualifies for a greater-value voucher because the devices are used more frequently for longer durations and have the potential to reduce significantly more air pollution.

    When gas-powered gardening/landscaping equipment such as leaf blowers, string trimmers, chainsaws, edgers, tillers and hedge trimmers are retired, residents and commercial businesses will receive $50 vouchers towards the purchase of electric (corded or battery) landscaping equipment or manual landscaping tools. Residents may turn in only one of each type of hand-held device, while commercial users may turn in multiples of each type due to increased use and greater potential for pollution savings. 

    Participants must complete an online application to turn in their working gas equipment and vouchers can be redeemed at Home Depot stores in Pima County. To avoid unapproved equipment drop offs, collection site locations are provided when an application is approved or by request. Vouchers will be provided to participants electronically after the pre-approved equipment drop off form has been verified by PDEQ staff. If unable to use the on-line capabilities, individuals can call (520) 273-9898 for assistance.

    The benefits to switching from gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment to electric or manual powered equipment are many and include:
    • Gasoline powered equipment emits harmful air pollutants that are unhealthy for operators and those nearby to breathe;
    • No need to purchase, transport, store, and use (or spill!) flammable gasoline when using electric equipment;
    • Gasoline powered landscaping equipment is noisy – often running at over 85 decibels which can damage the user’s hearing over time;
    • No need to deal with the hassle of tune ups and maintenance; 
    • Reduce the risk of Pima County’s air violating national health standards for ground-level ozone air pollution; and
    • Healthier air for everyone to breathe.
    The Cut Down Pollution Program details are available here or by calling (520) 273-9898.