By Nolan P. Smith
(Victorville)– It was all smiles on a sunny, breezy Victorville morning as residents of the Victor Valley filed in for the opportunity to exchange their gas-powered equipment towards new, electrical tools at the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District’s (MDAQMD) 2019 Lawn and Garden Equipment Exchange, which took place this Saturday at the SBC Fairgrounds. Over 250 units were swapped for electric, efficient tools, helping to reduce polluting equipment in the High Desert and setting a new record for the annual program.
“The event is great, as it is taking out the gas mowers; I brought a mower and a trimmer,” said Adelanto resident Michael McGraw. “All that gas is bad for the environment, plus they are heavy, and you always have to get gas. It is so much nicer to exchange it for electric, easier and lighter. Everything went great and smooth today, I’m happy.”
Local residents at this year’s event eliminated approximately 19,458 pounds of pollutants merely in the exchange of lawn mowers alone. Also, 72 trimmers and 42 blowers were also exchanged for their electric equivalents at a massive discount.
“This event has been growing every year and proves that even with the drought and xeriscape incentives from local water agencies, there is still a lot of gas-powered equipment out there,” said Brad Poiriez, MDAQMD Executive Director. “Many folks significantly underestimate the damage that can be done by the ground-level ozone this equipment creates.”
The 2019 Lawn and Garden Equipment Exchange was the largest in District history. Coming off of a new record in equipment exchanges in 2018, the District increased funding for the 2019 event in hopes of further reducing the emissions from gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
MDAQMD is the air pollution control authority and permitting agency for the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County and the Palo Verde Valley in Riverside County. It’s governed by a board of 13 members representing nine incorporated municipalities and two counties within its boundaries.
For more information on the various programs MDAQMD has to offer, visit mdaqmd.ca.gov or follow @MDAQMD on social media.