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16th Annual Mowing Down Pollution on May 9

County residents invited to turn in gasoline powered mowers for top-of-the-line rechargeable electric model

he 16th annual Mowing Down Pollution Lawnmower Trade-in program is set for 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, at Qualcomm Stadium.

Showing off a new lawnmower model to people in line at the 2014 exchange.

Developed and hosted by Supervisor Ron Roberts, the event organized by the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District will feature the exchange of 650 gasoline lawnmowers for new, rechargeable battery-powered, Black & Decker CM1936 mowers with 19-inch blades and 36 volt power systems. 

This is the final year of a four-year purchase agreement with Black & Decker that is underwritten with air pollution fine revenue. In subsequent years, the numbers of mowers available during the annual exchange is expected to be substantially reduced.

All residents of San Diego County with proper identification and a qualifying gasoline mower are eligible for this program. The price of the new mower remains at $99.99, a discount from the $149.99 offered by the project in its first 10 years. The mowers retail for about $400.

The exchange process is simple. The event is first come, first served. Individuals can line up as early as 4:30 a.m., although there are plenty of mowers to go around this year and those who arrive by 7 a.m. are expected to easily get a mower. The event ends at 10 a.m.

Answering questions from people in line.

Once in line, a place card is distributed to each person who is present with a gas mower for trade-in. When the customer reaches the front of the line proof of his or her San Diego County residency is checked and their mower is then inspected to make sure it is in operable condition and contains all of its parts. Broken mowers or those missing pieces will be turned away. (This is an important detail that arises each year. Public funds can only be used to replace mowers that actually work and contribute to local air pollution.)

Following mower approval, the participant is given a voucher for a new mower. The person then walks over to the cashier to provide payment (cash or credit card only; no checks). After paying, the customer drives their vehicle into a staging line where the new mowers are loaded into vehicles, completing the process.

Here, unboxed, is the rechargeable mower that those who participate in the 2015 exchange will take home.

The atmosphere is fun, festive and unique, with snaking lines of mowers and people. Returning from last year’s event is an expanded collection of electric cars, courtesy of San Diego Gas & Electric, and offerings from a food truck.

As a member of the California Air Resources Control Board since 1995, Supervisor Roberts is on the leading edge of cleaning up the air in San Diego County and across California.

Gasoline powered lawn mowers contribute to 5 percent of the nation's air pollution. Over the program's first 15 years, the San Diego Air Pollution Control Board has distributed 7,631 zero-emission mowers. The trade-ins have made a real dent in air pollution, removing a combined more than 38 tons of pollutants each year. Gas-powered machines emit an average of about 10 pounds of air pollution per year, said Robert Kard of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District.

Mowing Down Pollution provides San Diego County residents another way to make a difference in improving air quality and the quality of life for all of our citizens.


Flyer for 2015 Lawnmower Exchange 

Lawnmower Exchanges Rules, Regulations & Map

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