More than 500 residents trade in gas mower for deal on electric one

'Mowing Down Pollution' event at Qualcomm stadium

SAN DIEGO - More than 500 San Diego County residents went home with zero-emission lawnmowers Saturday during the 15th annual "Mowing Down Pollution" mower exchange at Qualcomm Stadium.

Mark Creighton of Carlsbad, who arrived at the stadium around 4:30 a.m., was the first in line to trade his gas-powered lawnmower, and $99.99, for one of 586 rechargeable Black & Decker mowers with 19-inch blades and a 36 volt power system worth about $400, according to county officials.

The relinquished lawnmowers were drained of their fuel, then taken to Pacific Trans Environmental Services for destruction and recycling, county officials said.

"It's a great deal and wonderful way to involve San Diegans in helping clean our air," said county Supervisor and member of the California Air Resources Control Board Ron Roberts.

Since Roberts founded the exchange 15 years ago, residents traded their old mowers for more than 7,600 rechargeable lawnmowers, which county officials said has led to 65,000 fewer pounds of pollutants released into the air.

The county Air Pollution Control District used funds brought in from air pollution fines to purchase the mowers for the event, which ran from 8 a.m. at about 11:30 a.m. This year's exchange was the second to be held at Qualcomm Stadium.

San Diego Gas & Electric and Sunroad Automotive were on hand to display electric vehicles. Also on display were Black & Decker battery-powered garden tools.

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