In the past, the Clean Green Yard Machines program has offered several hundred thousand dollars in incentives. Anthony Presto with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District says the agency is making one million dollars available this year:
Presto: “We hope that it’ll go longer than the usual push that only lasts about a week because this program is so popular and people get really excited as soon as they hear about it.”
The San Joaquin Valley has some of the worst air in the nation, and Presto says people often don’t realize how dirty gas mowers are. He says unlike cars, mower emissions haven’t improved much over the years.
Presto: “When you’re using one gas lawnmower, it’s about equivalent to driving 40 newer cars for the same amount of time and that’s why we have this program, because lawn mowers – gas lawn mowers - are a significant source of air pollution.”
He says replacing polluting gas-powered mowers with cleaner electric ones is one way local people can help:
Presto: “It makes an immediate difference in neighborhoods where these mowers are being used because you’re no longer breathing in those emissions.”
To get a rebate of up to 250 dollars, local residents must buy a qualifying electric mower and recycle their gas one.