Electric Lawn Mower Exchange Kicks Off Saturday in Palm Desert
PALM DESERT – Coachella Valley residents can reduce air pollution and save money by exchanging a working gasoline-powered lawn mower for a new battery-electric model.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) will kick off its popular “Mow Down Air Pollution” program with a lawn mower exchange at 8 a.m. Saturday at California State University, San Bernardino Palm Desert campus. Residents must pre-register to participate by visiting www.aqmd.gov or by calling 1-888-425-6247.
“Now in its ninth year, the lawn mower exchange continues to be a popular way to help us meet our clean air goals,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit, who serves on the AQMD Governing Board. “As supplies are limited, residents must make reservations and are encouraged to do so early!”
The program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis to residents, 18 years and older, showing proof of residency within AQMD’s four-county jurisdiction (Orange County and major portions of Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties). Gas-powered mowers must be in working order and only one mower per household can be exchanged. Cash, check or major credit cards are accepted for payment.
This year, consumers may choose among five electric mower models, available for $100 to $230:
• Neuton CE 5.4 (24V, 14-inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $399)
• Neuton CE 6.4 (36V, 19-inch cutting width) $160 (retail price: $499)
• Black & Decker CMM1200 (24V, 19-inch cutting width) $100 (retail price: $349)
• Black & Decker CM 1936 (36V, 19-inch cutting width) $160 (retail price: $449)
• Black & Decker SPCM 1936 (36V, 19-inch cutting width, self propelled) $230 (retail price: $699)
AQMD will host seven additional events across Southern California on Saturdays through July 23. When the series ends, AQMD will have scrapped more than 44,400 highly polluting gasoline mowers, removing almost 94 tons of smog-forming volatile organic compound emissions from the Southland’s air.
Participants never have to leave their car during the convenient mower exchange. Upon arrival, workers will remove the old gas mower from the vehicle and drain it of hazardous fluids prior to its destruction at a metal recycling facility. After payment is made, attendants will place the new, boxed mower in the customer’s vehicle. The entire process takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
The program is funded through AQMD’s Air Quality Investment Program, which is financed by Southern California companies that pay a fee in lieu of offering rideshare incentives as required by AQMD’s Rule 2202. The lawn mower exchange program will reduce more emissions than would be achieved by an employer rideshare program. Additional funding provided this year comes from the California Air Resources Board through AB 118, a measure to fund clean vehicle and equipment projects.