Hellish Machines - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1886346

Hellish Machines

The numerous letters in last week’s edition concerning the phasing out of leaf blowers are a clear mandate to ban these infernal machines.

Owners of only intermittently used properties, and speculators of properties for sale maintained while on the market, seem oblivious to the cacophony that year-round residents endure when properties on both sides of the street are “maintained” with the simultaneous roar of several leaf blowers from Monday to Friday, and often on Saturdays as well, despite legal restrictions.

In early December, I watched employees of a well-known landscaper going about their work in a phalanx of five guys aiming their blowers at a blacktop driveway. Photographic proof available.

The approximately 180-ph blasts of extremely hot air directed at leaves gathered around bushes, tree trunks and hedges efficiently distribute mold and fungal spores, plant pathogens, and rodent and bird feces — plus the chemicals people like to apply “to save plants from infections,” the infections encouraged by said blasts, that destroy the soil structure and dry out shallow root systems while killing many beneficial organisms. The pile of leaves is then carted off to the nearest dump, and subsequently nature’s mulch will be replaced by bags of store-bought, pungent-smelling mulch.

If we are bothered by the hideous noise these hellish machines make, pity the guy who is paid to pursue errant lawn mower clippings with a roaring engine strapped to his back just inches from his ears.

A version of the above was published in this paper in 2008(!), yet the problem has only gotten worse. It bears repeating.

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