Electric Lawn Equipment Buy-Back Program
The Town of Bedford and Bedford 2030 are launching a program to buyback combustion engine lawn equipment from Bedford community members. This program will assist in transitioning away from gas-leaf blowers by providing incentives to help reach the aggressive goals of Bedford’s Climate Action plan. Read the Bedford Leaf Blower Ordinance HERE.
Trade-in your gas-powered equipment in return for a $100 coupon – redeemable at select local stores- to be used toward the purchase of electric lawn equipment. Coupons are available on a first-come, first served basis.
- Community members can turn in gas powered lawn equipment including leaf blowers, lawn mowers, weed whackers, chainsaws and hedge trimmers.
- In exchange for turning in their equipment, community members will receive a $100 coupon to purchase electric lawn equipment from a specific list of vendors (listed below). COUPONS WILL ONLY BE GIVEN ONCE THE GAS-POWERED TOOL IS TURNED IN, AND WILL BE GIVEN ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST- SERVED BASIS.
- The coupons:
- $100 rebate
- Coupons expire in six months
- Coupons can only be used for electric landscape maintenance equipment: leaf blowers, lawn mowers, weed whackers, chainsaws and hedge trimmers.
- Only one coupon per household
- Coupons can only be used at participating vendors
- Must be a resident of Town of Bedford
Trade-in dates include:
- October 2 at Clean Ride and Drive
- Saturdays: 10/15, 10/22 and 11/5 at the Bedford Recycling Center from 9am-noon.
How do I qualify to participate?
You must be a Bedford resident and provide proof of residency.
Does registering for this buy-back guarantee my coupon?
No. Registration will help us plan an efficient take-back process. Coupons will be given out upon turning in your equipment, on a first-come, first-served basis.
What types of gas-powered equipment can I trade in?
You may trade-in (gas-powered) and purchase (electric) any of the following:
Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, weed wackers or chain saws.
All fluids (gasoline or motor oil) must be drained before drop-off.
How many pieces of equipment may I trade in?
Only one per household, please.
Note that we have 50 coupons available and they are distributed when gas-powered equipment is turned in, on a first come, first served basis.
How can I tell if there is oil or gas in the equipment I am trading in?
You may need to open the gas tank and look inside. Frequently, the tank is an opaque piece and you can tell if there is anything inside by looking at the side of it.
To check for motor oil, use a dipstick in the oil compartment or visually inspect the tank.
If there is gasoline or oil in the equipment, what do I do?
To drain the equipment – run a siphon hose from the fuel/oil tank to a collecting container can on the ground and squeeze the bulb enough times to create a vacuum that will start draining gas/oil from the fuel tank to the can.
What is the proper way to dispose of the gasoline or motor oil I have removed from my equipment prior to trade-in?
Gasoline (and gasoline mixed with oil from a 2 stroke engine) may be brought to the Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF) located at 15 Woods Road in Valhalla, NY 10595.
Motor oil can be brought to a local gas station.
Where and when can I trade-in my equipment?
You can drop it off at the Clean Ride and Drive, held on Sunday, October 2nd from noon – 3pm at the Bedford Hills Train Station OR
You can bring your equipment to the Bedford Recycling Center from 9am – 12pm on one of these Saturdays: October 15, October 22, November 5.
Note – these coupons are available on a first come, first serve basis. If the coupons are exhausted prior to any of the listed buyback dates, buyback dates could be canceled. Please check the website for more info.
How do I get my $100 coupon?
After your gas-powered equipment is accepted, photographed and logged in, you will receive a $100 coupon.
Where and when can I use the coupon?
The coupon is valid until June 30, 2023 for the purchase of electric lawn equipment at one of these local stores:
- Bedford Mowers in Bedford Hills
- Bedford Ace Hardware in Bedford
- Arroway Tractor in Katonah.
Why transition to electric lawn equipment?
- The EPA has shown that leaf blowers and other gas powered lawn and garden equipment expose workers and the public to high levels of toxic and carcinogenic emissions such as benzene, butadiene, formaldehyde and fine particulates.
- Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the dust and toxic emissions created by gas blowers. Animals, pets and wildlife are also vulnerable to the dust, fine particulates and extreme noise.
- The American Lung Association, American Heart Association, World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention all report on the dangerous health risks associated with exposure to these types of emissions including cancer, lung disease, respiratory illnesses and dementia.
- Gas blowers produce high levels of noise which have been shown to pose serious health risks including hearing loss, hypertension and productivity loss.
- Noise generated from leaf blowers has been shown to negatively impact cognitive development in children.
- The winds generated by blowers destroy habitats for beneficial insects and deplete topsoil.
How to landscape without gas leaf blowers
Here are some basic tips. For more specific details, visit Outdoor Action.
- Leaf blowers should only be used on hardscapes, such as driveways, patios, paths, and decks.
- Leaf blower use removes valuable topsoil and should not be used in garden beds or around the base of trees and shrubs.
- Leave the leaves on ground cover (like pachysandra), in perennial flower beds and around shrubs and tree roots. They protect the plants. Rake the leaves around the base of the plant so they look neat. The leaves will decompose in place over the winter and enrich the soil.
- Mulch-mow grass and leaves into the lawn: mow over the leaves.
- Try to work when the leaves are dry.
- Very often it is more time efficient to use a broom or a rake than a blower.
- Do not cut the turf grass lower than 4”. Any shorter and you could damage the lawn, inviting pests and making the grass susceptible to drought. Leave grass clippings on the lawn: they will decompose and enrich the soil naturally.
- Compost any large piles of leaves.
- A leaf sweeper is a good, efficient alternative to a leaf blower.
- Avoid using fertilizer. This will just encourage growth and therefore more lawn mowing.
- On large properties, consider leaving the turf grass to grow tall, and mow paths through it. This provides good pollinator habitat, involves less mowing and no need to remove leaves. Maintain the area by monitoring for invasive plants and removing them. Mow once a year in late fall or early spring. It is important to remove the clippings so that a meadow can develop. Compost the clippings.
- If you (or your client) are reluctant to adopt mulch-mowing and some of these practices in the front yard, test these methods out in the backyard.
Use of Electric Tools - For you or your landscaper
People who transition to battery-powered tools all report a more pleasant, comfortable work experience. It is healthier for them, the neighbors and the environment.
The American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) is the only organization in the United States that has fully examined the electric landscaping tool market. AGZA offers consultations to help landscapers and municipalities successfully convert to electric. They also offer a comprehensive online course, in English and Spanish, with certification.
AGZA recommends these considerations when converting to electric tools:
- Research the tool brand. See if you can set up a “Try Before You Buy” with the tool brand rep or dealer. Most manufacturers are making electric versions of all landscaping tools and the batteries that will work with all of the tools in their platform.
- Store your electric tools in a dry location, ideally mounted.
- When using electric blowers try not to use high speed (boost), which uses the battery faster.
- Charge and store your batteries at moderate temps in a well-ventilated area. High temps and sub-zero cold can shorten the life of your battery.
- If possible, avoid charging your batteries on fast charge: this shortens the life of the battery.
- “Opportunity Charging.” Ask clients if you can charge your batteries on site, while working. It will cost $1.00 or less on an electric bill to fully charge a typical battery.
- Some landscapers have fitted their trucks with solar power to serve as a charging station.
- Some homeowners are purchasing batteries, or electric tools, for their landscapers to use.