Switching to an Electric Leaf Blower

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A Trade in Program for Portola Valley

 The Town is not currently accepting appointments.

Check back in after the Shelter in Place is lifted for updated appointment dates.

Keep your receipts if you buy an Electric Leaf blower we will accept them later.

Time to Switch to an Electric Leaf Blower!


Buy a new electric leaf blower. Get 40% of the cost of the electric, up to $120, back

Trade in program runs from January 2020- June 2021

Available for the Town of Portola Valley residents, or landscapers and garden professionals with a Portola Valley business license. 

In order to qualify for the town match, you must present a receipt for your electric leaf blower AND drop off your gas-powered model for disposal.

Starting in late January, 2021, the Town will ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Now is a great time to switch to an electric leaf blower.

The Town has created a trade-in program to support conversion to Electric Leaf Blowers. If you buy a new, electric leaf blower, and bring us your old gas powered model, we’ll give you 40% of the cost of the electric up to $120.

The Town has partnered with a local recycling/re-purposing agency that will responsibility recycle the gas-powered leaf blowers.

Information from the Town’s Electric Leaf Blower Workshop can be found here; you can learn more about the benefits of electric leaf blowers and specs you should take into consideration.



Trade-In Procedure:

  • Make sure your address is within the town limits of Portola Valley or you have a current business licence.
  • Download Reimbursement Form in English or Spanish  (or pick up at Town Hall)
  • Contact leafblowers@portolavalley.net to make an appointment to drop off (see above for current available days and times) or check Town News on for special drop-off events.
  • Within 2 working days you will get a confirmation email about your appointment with information on preparing your Gas-powered leaf blower for drop off.
  • The town will accept up to 3 trade-ins per business license. 
  • Share the brochure with your neighbors and your landscaping and gardening professionals  (in both English and Spanish) Printed versions can be found at Town Hall 



Why Switch to an Electric Leaf Blower?

Gas-powered leaf blowers create excessive noise, spew toxic chemical compounds, such as formaldehyde and hydrocarbons, and spread animal feces particulates.

One hour of gas-powered leaf blower operation is equivalent to driving a car 1,100 miles (Los Angeles to Denver) – that’s 498 times more hydrocarbons, 49 times more particulate matter, and 26 times more carbon monoxide emitted!

Gas-powered leaf blowers can generate noise up to 112 decibels (as loud as a car horn at 3 feet), and spread dust and particulate matter at hurricane-level speeds (over 200 mph).

Electric leaf blowers are available at competitive prices and cause significantly less noise pollution, without a significant reduction in power. The Town purchased two electric leaf-blowers that have been used successfully at the Town Center.

Tips on How you can Best Use a Leaf Blower

  • Use on lowest possible speed and place nozzle as close to the ground as possible – creates less dust, less noise and wastes less fuel.
  • Sweep or rake large piles first to reduce the amount of time a leaf blower needs to be used.
  • Do not use leaf blowers on “softscape” surfaces such as dirt.Consider using a layer of large, wood-chip mulch around plants to help keep soil in place if a leaf blower is used nearby.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – if there are people or animals close by, do not use until they’ve passed to start blowing to reduce their exposure to airborne dust and particulate matter.

Excessive blowing on "softscape" removes valuable topsoil, creates more dust and debris, and disrupts the natural mulching process that is beneficial to the soil.


Contact us at leafblowers@portolavalley.net if you want to participate or have additional questions.