Apr 162009
 
Authors: Virginia Singarayar

As the grass begins to green in Fort Collins and the familiar hum of lawn mowers returns to the local symphony of sounds, the city is offering residents a rebate on new mowers in an effort to go green.

Until May 10, city residents can cash in a $25 rebate on electric and reel lawn mowers at select stores as a part of the city’s effort to reduce ozone pollution and improve air quality.

The Fort Collins Lawn Mower Rebate Program began on March 28 and is just one part of the 2008 Climate Action Plan adopted by Fort Collins City Council. The plan outlines Fort Collins’ goals to reduce greenhouse gases and increase climate protection.

Lucinda Smith, senior environmental planner for the Natural Resources Department of Fort Collins and program organizer, said gas lawn mowers are one of the leading contributors to ground-level ozone. Unlike electric and reel mowers, gas powered mowers release volatile organic compounds and other air pollutants.

She said these pollutants are harmful because they can damage lung tissue and reduce lung function. People with respiratory illnesses and asthma can be especially sensitive to higher ozone levels.

In 2007, Denver, Fort Collins and other Front Range cities became in violation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act, which sets an eight-hour standard for ground-level ozone. Fort Collins is now under non attainment, which requires cities to comply with specific control measures for ozone output.

“The city is providing the program as in incentive for residents to help reduce ozone pollutants in Fort Collins,” Smith said. “We’ve offered this program in the past and we really feel that is has made a difference.”

The rebate program began in 1999 and this is the eighth year it is being offered. Smith said the program has been successful in the past and has given away the total amount of rebates offered almost every year.

In 2008 Fort Collins gave out 142 rebates, the full amount offered, and this year the program is funded with a total of $4,000 coming from the Air Quality Program under the city’s general fund budget.

“There have been seven rebates given out this year, which is lower than what we expected. It could be because of the economy, but we don’t really know that for sure,” Smith said.

The rebate program ends on May 10 or once all the rebates have been expended. Residents can redeem the rebate at nine participating stores in Fort Collins, four of which are also offering an additional $10 in-store coupon.

Clay’s Ace Hardware is participating in the program for its fourth year. Rand Parker, a sales representative, said the store participates in the program to help to city become greener.

“The store is taking a green stance and carrying a lot of green products,” Parker said. “We’ve given out a few rebates and we have about four or five lawn mowers that qualify for the program.”

Parker said that they haven’t sold a lot of lawn mowers because of the cold weather, but he expects sales to pick up once the weather gets nicer.

For more information on the Lawn Mower Rebate Program and participating stores, go to http://www.fcgov.com/airquality.

Chief Designer Virginia Singarayar can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Participating Stories

Bath Power Equipment

1505 S. Timberline

484-5024

(plus $10 store coupon)

Clay’s Ace Hardware

1001 E. Harmony

223-9273

(plus $10 store coupon)

Downtown Ace Hardware

215 S. College

224-4437

(plus $10 store Coupon)

Drake Hardware

2160 W. Drake, #A5

221-7225 /

Home Depot

4502 JFK Parkway

206-0774

/

Home Depot

1351 E. Magnolia

224-1239 /

Lowe’s

4227 Corbett Dr.

232-7910 /

Sears

205 E. Foothills Prkwy

229-1200

(plus $10 store coupon)

Walmart Super Center

1250 E. Magnolia

493-3048

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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