The 12th Annual Lawnmower Exchange Program Is Set For April 23

A look back at last year's mower exchange.

The 12th annual Mowing Down Pollution lawn- mower exchange program is set for 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway.

Developed and hosted by Supervisor Ron Roberts, the event will feature the exchange of 785 gasoline lawnmowers for new, battery-powered, Black and Decker CM1200 mowers with 19-inch blades.

All residents of San Diego County with proper identification, and a mower, are eligible for this program. While the price of the new mower for the first 10 years was $149.99, this year it will be $99.99, just as it was in 2010, thanks to a special two-year bulk purchase agreement. The mowers retail for $399.

The exchange process is simple. The event is first come, first served. Traditionally, county residents line up well before the 8 a.m. start time. Indeed, the 2010 event was a sell-out, despite having a record 785 mower available for exchange.

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, his or her 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.

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) and proof of San Diego County residency. After paying, the customer drives their vehicle into a staging line where the new mowers are being loaded. 

Due to the “Mowing Down Pollution” program’s popularity, those who plan on participating should arrive at the County Administration Center well before 8 a.m.

For those who received vouchers at last year’s event, it is required that they arrive between 7 a.m. and  8 a.m. as this is the only way the Air Pollution Control Board staff running the exchange can guarantee receipt of a new emission free, mower.

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. Since 2000, 5,180 zero-emission mowers have been distributed in San Diego County, taking more than 150 tons of pollutants out of our air.

Mowing Down Pollution is making a difference in improving air quality and the quality of life for all of our citizens.


Supervisor Roberts meets with the
mower crowd at the 2010 exchange.


Hundreds of exchanged mowers are ready for