Pima County Expands Lawn and Garden Equipment Replacement Program

Pima County has added a sixth drop-off site to the Cut Down Pollution program, making it easier for Marana-area residents to access vouchers for electric or battery-operated lawn and garden equipment.

The voluntary program, operated by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, allows residents and commercial businesses in Pima County to turn in working gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment in exchange for vouchers toward the purchase of electric equipment or manual landscaping tools.

Since the program’s launch four years ago, more than 1,150 lawn mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, etc. were retired, reducing air pollution by nearly 600 tons and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, by an estimated 1,800 tons.

While some commercial businesses have made the switch, most of the lawn mowers and other equipment have been turned in by residents who use the equipment to maintain their personal properties.

“Many participants enjoy the ease of working with electric equipment in contrast to dealing with smelly, cumbersome, and finicky gasoline-powered equipment,” said PDEQ’s Karen Wilhelmsen, who operates the Cut Down Pollution program.

“Electric equipment is also quieter than gasoline-powered, helping to keep the peace with neighbors who would otherwise hear the loud noise through closed windows and doors. They also feel satisfaction about doing their part to help keep our blue skies blue.”

The process starts with an online application at www.pima.gov/CutPollution. Once the application is approved, the participant receives an email with one Drop-Off Verification Form per piece of equipment accepted. They take the form(s) with the equipment to one of the six drop-off sites, which are listed on the form.

Staff at the drop-off sites accept the equipment, which will be rendered inoperable and recycled as appropriate. The forms, signed, dated and stamped, are given back to the participant, who emails the forms to CutPollution@pima.gov as proof that the equipment was relinquished. PDEQ then issues vouchers toward the purchase of electric lawn and garden equipment or manual landscaping tools at any of the six Home Depot stores in metropolitan Tucson.

Residents may turn in one gas lawn mower ($150 voucher) and up to five different gas handheld devices such as one leaf blower, one string trimmer, one edger, etc. ($50 voucher each) for a total of $400 worth of vouchers. Commercial businesses may turn in an unspecified number of mowers ($200 vouchers) and devices ($50 each).

To learn more about the program, visit www.pima.gov/CutPollution or call 520-273-9898. The program is funded by a grant from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

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