MONTCLAIR, NJ — A group called Quiet Montclair is making some noise about gas leaf blower use.
A group of like-minded Montclair residents, who don’t like the noise that gas leaf blowers create, have launched a campaign and a website (www.quietmontclair.org) to raise awareness of the negative impact gas leaf blowers have and to promote quieter, healthier, greener alternatives.
The timing is right as the ban on leaf blower use ends on September 30; expect to hear more noise during your next Zoom meeting or your child’s math class soon.
“The noise generated by gas-powered leaf blowers is extremely loud and travels for long distances, pervading entire neighborhoods on a daily basis,” said Peter Holm, a 2nd Ward resident and spokesperson for Quiet Montclair. “Environmental noise has well-documented negative effects on the ability of individuals to concentrate and be productive, as well as on children’s ability to learn. With so many Montclair residents working from home or attending school remotely, now is the time to address this problem in a serious way.”
“We hope that Montclair residents will take a few minutes to explore our site and learn more about how damaging gas leaf blowers are,” said Leah Katz, a Quiet Montclair member. “They are not only a nuisance. The noise and pollution create genuine health risks, firstly for the workers themselves but also for residents.”
Quiet Montclair promotes a range of alternatives, including rakes and battery-powered leaf blowers, which now compete very well with gas machines in power and longevity and cost less to operate. The website’s Quiet Alternatives page also highlights the environmental and horticultural benefits of “leaving some leaves” in yards and gardens to build soil health, protect plants, and support beneficial wildlife.
Montclair residents have a long tradition of speaking out against leaf blowers.
Quiet Montclair continues the tradition but is encouraging residents to take action, such as reducing their own use of gas leaf blowers, asking landscapers they employ to use alternative tools, contacting the Township to request better enforcement of the law, and adding their names to Quiet Montclair’s list of supporters at www.quietmontclair.org.
The group also seeks to identify and promote local landscaping companies that offer high-quality lawn services without the use of gas leaf blowers.
“The rapid advance of battery technology in recent years has created an opportunity for landscapers to gain a competitive advantage by offering a low-noise, zero-emissions service while saving money on maintenance and operating costs,” Holm said. “We believe there is a strong market in Montclair and surrounding towns for that kind of service.”