Utahns can cut grass and emissions this spring with electric lawn mower exchange

Sunday , February 18, 2018 - 5:00 AM

There are still a few weeks before Utahns will start thinking about lawn maintenance, but local health and sustainability experts want residents to consider trimming their emissions along with their grass.

The “Cut Pollution — Mow Electric” program offers discounted electric mowers in exchange for fuel-powered ones. It’s similar to a popular program presented by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality in the spring of 2016. This time it’s being sponsored by the sustainability offices of Weber State University, the Weber-Morgan Health Department, the Davis County Health Department, the Utah DEQ and the Utah Clean Air Partnership.

“While a single mower may not seem like a major source of pollution, the emissions are relatively high when compared to an average car, and they are generated in close proximity to the person pushing the mower,” said Alice Mulder, director of WSU’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center, in a press release.

Mowing with emissions-spewing machines contributes to Utah’s summertime ozone pollution — and several counties in the state are likely not meeting federal air quality standards for the pollutant. Pushing a gas-powered mower around the yard creates the same amount of pollution as driving a car 160 miles, according to Weber State.

The Cut Pollution — Mow Electric program has 762 electric lawn mowers available, which will be offered through a lottery drawing.

The machines up for exchange are new Kobalt 40-volt cordless mowers with mulching capability, including the battery and charger, which typically retail for $329. The mowers save money because they don’t require fuel, they’re less noisy and they don’t spew particulate pollution and the volatile organic compounds that turn into ozone. 

Lottery winners are randomly selected and get to purchase the electric mowers for $100, plus tax and a 3 percent credit card fee, in exchange for a functioning gas-powered mower. 

A waiver of the $100 fee is available to those in need.

The lottery is open to residents of Utah areas that are in non-attainment for fine particulate pollution. Interested participants can search their ZIP code on WSU’s Mow Electric website to see if they qualify.

Lottery entries will be accepted throughout the month of March. Winners will receive an email notification on April 6. 

More information is available online or by attending a workshop scheduled at the Weber State Davis campus on March 13, the Golden Years Senior Center in Bountiful on March 15, the Weber State Ogden campus on March 20 and the Weber-Morgan Health Department on March 22.

Visit Weber.edu/MowElectric for more information about the program and workshops. Those with questions can contact WSU sustainability manager Jennifer Bodine at 801-626-6421 or jenniferbodine@weber.edu.

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