Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

Fall LeavesOne of the focus areas of the Glencoe Sustainability Task Force (STF) is carbon reduction. In support of this, the STF has been investigating ways to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions of gasoline-powered leaf blowers. 

When the STF began investigating this issue, the Village Code already restricted the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers to limited calendar windows in the spring (March 15 to May 15) and fall (September 15 to December 15). Their use for all other times of the year is not allowed. Several neighboring communities had similar restrictions on the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers. 

The STF developed a plan for Village Board consideration that recommends a ban on using gasoline-powered leaf blowers in Glencoe. This plan was presented to the Village Board at the October 21, 2021, Board of Trustees Committee of the Whole Meeting. The Village Board was supportive of the STF's idea. With the Village Board's support, the Village of Glencoe helped organize many neighboring communities into a Regional Leaf Blower Working Group and studied the issue of gas-powered leaf blowers. After a year of research and interviews, this group of 12 communities developed a Final Report on the feasibility of banning or further restricting gas-powered leaf blowers. 

Using the Regional Leaf Blower Working Group Final Report, the STF recommended that the Village Board narrow the calendar windows for the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. The STF recommended that the allowable windows be April 1 to April 30 and October 1 to November 30. The Village Board discussed revising the regulations at its March 16, 2023 Committee of the Whole Meeting, and then voted to change the allowable times on April 20, 2023 by revising the Village Code (see code section 24-38(c)(2)). 

The updated regulations went into effect on January 1, 2024 restricting the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers to only during the four-weeks in the spring (April 1 - 30) and eight-weeks in the fall (October 1 - November 30), with flexibility for the Village Manager to adjust these dates if needed due to seasonality. If you see a gas-powered leaf blower being used outside of the allowed windows, please contact the Public Safety Department at (847) 835-4112 and they will dispatch an officer. 

Due to the current limitations of battery-powered leaf blowers, a full ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers is not feasible. However, the STF will continue to monitor progress in this area and will recommend further restrictions as soon as practicable.