By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– The Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District is relaunching its popular annual Lawn & Garden Equipment Exchange with a new twist and some new power behind it.
Beginning today, the annual program becomes year-round instead of being a single-day event. Residents living within MDAQMD boundaries are eligible to participate by trading in their working, gas-powered equipment for zero-emission, battery-powered equivalents. The year-round nature allows participants to make the swap at their convenience.
In an effort to further increase participation, the District for the first time has partnered with STIHL to make available lawn mowers, trimmers and leaf-blowers to program participants at locations in Apple Valley, Blythe, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley, Phelan, Wrightwood and Yucca Valley.
While previous editions of the single-day event has broken participation records with each succeeding year, the District aims to provide more flexibility to the consumer.
“Despite the many programs offered by our partner agencies to remove turf, the number of exchanges rises each year, which tells us there is still demand,” said Brad Poiriez, Executive Director of MDAQMD. “The more gas-powered equipment that can be replaced with battery-electric, the faster we move towards improving our air quality.”
The grant-funded exchange program has been a mainstay in the District’s catalog of programs focused on reducing local emissions. According to EPA statistics, gas-powered mowers contribute 5% of U.S. air pollution and estimates indicate more than 17 million gallons of fuel, mostly gasoline, is spilled each year while refueling lawn equipment. That’s more than all the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska.
“We hope that by opening it up year-round, and in several locations, we will significantly add to the amount of pollutants being removed from our desert air,” Poiriez added.
The 2020 exchange program offers state-of-the-art battery-electric equipment for savings of up to $395. Visit https://www.mdaqmd.ca.gov/