Ottawa phasing out the use of small, gas-powered garden tools on city property

A lawn mower is pictured in this undated file photo. (CTV)

Gas-powered garden tools could soon be put in the city of Ottawa's garage for good.

Council approved a motion from Coun. Rawlson King to begin phasing out the use of small, gas-powered lawn and yard equipment by city staff in parks, gardens and on city property. The gas-powered lawn and yard equipment will be replaced with electric alternatives where operationally feasible.

"The aim is to reduce air and noise pollution generated by gas-powered equipment, such as leaf blowers," city staff said.

Staff will pilot the use of electric equipment and begin testing for suitability starting this summer, with six crews using electric and battery-powered equipment.

"We fully expect the phase out plan will be carried out over multiple years based on the industry's capacity to meet our operational demands," said Alain Gonthier, Ottawa's general manager of Public Works.

Parks Services issued a tender for the supply and delivery of various battery powered landscape equipment, including string trimmers, handheld blowers, pruning chainsaws and hedge trimmers.

Staff will report back with a detailed plan to reduce emissions and the environmental impacts of equipment later this year.

The National Capital Commission is banning the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, line trimmers, hedge trimmers and small chainsaws on NCC lands starting on April 1, 2023.