Our colleagues at the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) have done it again. This time helping the city of Ojai, CA transition to using zero emissions, low noise electric equipment for its municipal grounds maintenance. This success follows in the wake of the city of South Pasadena, CA becoming the nation’s first AGZA Green Zone city. The full story is available on the AGZA website and Facebook page.
By Luke Massman-Johnson
On August 2nd, the city of Ojai, CA celebrated the rollout of a brand new fleet of commercial-grade electric landscaping equipment. The “Electric Fleet Rollout” was a milestone in becoming certified as the nation’s second AGZA Green Zone® City, following South Pasadena, CA. The certification commits the city to performing all routine grounds maintenance exclusively with low-noise, zero-emission battery-electric equipment. The final AGZA Green Zone Certification will cover 52 acres of Ojai’s parks, fields, bike paths, infrastructure, and streets.
Ojai’s AGZA Green Zone program has drawn the support of leaders, citizens, scientists, environmental groups, and agencies throughout the state of California. The city has a reputation as a leader in sustainability. Here are some of the key points of the program:
- The new fleet of lithium battery powered tools replaces 27 gas-powered machines and includes three mowers and an array of hand tools (string trimmers, hedgers, extended hedgers, chain saws, pole saws, and blowers) manufactured by Mean Green Product and Stihl.
- The equipment was paid for by a $60K grant from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District.
- On an annual basis, the electric fleet will reduce noise pollution up to 70% during operation, eliminate more than 43 tons of toxic and carcinogenic exhaust and greenhouse gases every year, and eliminate toxic chemicals and solid waste from its landfill and water sources.
- Operational costs per hour for the electric fleet are projected to be a fraction of those for the gas fleet based on avoided costs of fuel and less costs for maintenance, chemicals, and replacement parts. Return on investment is expected within two to three years.
- The grounds staff will benefit the elimination of toxic exhaust and fumes, and reductions in noise, vibration, and weight.
Luke is AGZA’s Marketing and Communications Director.