The disruptive and loud leaf blowers can be heard across campus, accompanied by complaints from irritated students. Although the early morning leaf removal is disruptive and annoying, it still serves an important purpose on campus.
Leaves and other fallen debris can pose a lot of danger to students and become campus eyesores. However, leaf blowers should be used at more student-friendly times.
Even so, it is time that students recognize the new steps campus facilities are taking to become more sustainable.
“Our grounds crew strives to begin their work around residential halls and apartments and academic quad areas after 9 a.m. during the heavy leaf season. However, sometimes it is necessary to respond quickly to immediate landscaping dangers (i.e., limbs, trees, etc.), which may require that work take place prior to 9 a.m.,” said Allison Horn, director of facilities and auxiliary services.
Emergencies being the exception, 9 a.m. is still too early to be making that much noise. Many students are still sleeping or at the very least still groggy.
A quiet, peaceful morning to enjoy the campus is just what students need to start the day off. Plus, the brightly colored fallen leaves are a beautiful sight and a staple of the autumn season.
Perhaps 11 a.m. would be a better time to break out the leaf blowers. Before this time, quieter landscaping could be done instead. This would not change productivity levels and would undoubtedly help students out.
Many who oppose leaf blowers use sustainability issues as a way to condemn the early morning disturbance. Linfield facilities is actually improving their sustainable landscaping practices, so this is no longer a reliable argument.
“Several years ago, Linfield began replacing the 2-cycle blowers with STIHL 4-cycle blowers, which are even more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. STIHL defines “low exhaust emissions” as being cleaner than EPA and/or CARB exhaust emission standards. Budget permitting, we anticipate replacing the final two 2-cycle blowers this fiscal year,” Horn said.
The group continues to use leaf blowers to cover the most ground possible in the shortest time period, as well as to reduce the risk of the employees injuring themselves from performing the repetitive raking motion.
They have decided this is the best ergonomic way for employees to keep paths clear and campus safe.
- The Review Editorial Board