TRIM YOUR LAWN AND YOUR POLLUTION FOOTPRINT: TRADE IN YOUR GAS GUZZLING LAWN MOWER SATURDAY MAY 11

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County to offer discounted zero-emission lawn mowers at 14th Annual Trade-In Event

May 9, 2013 (Mission Valley) – County residents can roll their old, gas powered lawn mowers down to Qualcomm Stadium this Saturday and come away with new, zero-emission models. The price? Just $99.99 for a Black & Decker mower that typically retails for about $400, plus tax.

Available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the 14th Annual “Mowing Down Pollution” Lawn Mower Trade-In Event will be 650 new mowers, County Supervisor Ron Roberts said at a news conference on Tuesday.

“Since 1990, we have distributed 6,457 rechargeable mowers, removing more than 64,000 pounds of pollutants from our air each year,” said Roberts, the event’s founder. “And the event itself is just plain fun. Where else can you gather and see more than 600 people, along with family and friends, lining up with their gasoline mowers? I encourage everyone with a gasoline model to come down and join us.”

Along with the new location at Qualcomm Stadium, this year’s event will feature information from the California Plug-In Vehicle Collaborative on how to be part of the state’s transition to rechargeable vehicles, and a display of all-electric vehicles, open to the public to inspect, provided by San Diego Gas & Electric.

During the press conference, San Diego Chargers’ Pro Bowl Center Nick Hardwick demonstrated how easy the mower was to use and talked about the program’s health benefits. “Whether you’re a professional athlete working out, a youngster playing outside or someone with asthma trying to get through the day, clean air is important to everyone,” Hardwick said.

Hardwick, who recalled mowing his grandmother’s lawn with an electric model that featured a cord, joked this rechargeable mower was a Rolls Royce equivalent.

The Plug-In Vehicle Collaborative is a leading resource for information on rechargeable vehicles. “From lawnmowers to cars, we all benefit when the public makes the switch to rechargeables,” said Christine Kehoe, executive director of the Collaborative.

“It is crucial that everyone look for ways in their own lives to reduce emissions – whether that means making your next car an electric or hybrid vehicle, or trading in your gas powered lawnmower for a new electric one,” said Frank Urtasun, SDG&E’s regional vice president of external affairs. “At SDG&E, we are working hard to reduce our own emissions. Today, more than 20 percent of the energy we deliver to homes and businesses every day in San Diego comes from renewable, emission-free sources – like solar and we are committed to reaching 33 percent by 2020.”

For Saturday’s mower exchange, the company has coordinated a display of electric vehicles that will include a Nissan Leaf, Toyota RAV4, Fiat 500c, BMW Active E, Car2Go and others.

Switching from gasoline to a rechargeable mower can drastically reduce pollution levels. Gas-powered machines emit an average of about 10 pounds of air pollution per year, said Robert Kard of the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District. The new, upgraded models emit zero pollution.

Saturday’s mower exchange will start at 8 a.m. in the North West lot of Qualcomm Stadium at 9449 Friars Road, 92108. Participants are advised to arrive early with their trade-in mowers emptied of oil and gas. Photo IDs and proof of San Diego County residency are required.

One trade-in is allowed per household and it must be in working condition. Parking will be plentiful and a food and beverage truck will be on hand to provide coffee and snacks. For more information, visit ronroberts.com.