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Together we can make more clean air.

Sweep It Up Saturday: Maricopa County and Phoenix, air pollution get the brush-off

Saturdays are the days that many people look forward to. It is the start of the weekend and an opportunity to enjoy fun, family activities. But what if Saturdays were also dedicated to learning how to reduce air pollution? Participate in Sweep It Up Saturday by ditching the leaf blower and pulling out the broom or rake to clean up your yard, sidewalks and driveway. Did you know that leaf blowers raise large amounts of dust, making them one of the primary air pollution causes of course particulate matter or PM10? By eliminating leaf blower use, you are decreasing air pollution.

Winter temperatures in Maricopa County are mild, but the season still causes trees to drop leaves, and winter rains can wash soil and other debris on to driveways and pool decks. When tackling that clean up on Saturdays (or any other day of the week), consider the advantages of using a broom or rake instead of a leaf blower: Using a rake also eliminates the risk to the leaf blower operator and people in the area of being exposed to dangerous particles.

  • Get some exercise –
    Sweeping and raking require more energy than holding a leaf blower. So sweep away some of those holiday calories while actively participating in efforts to create more clean air.
  • Save some money –
    Leaf blowers are an expensive investment, from the time of purchase and continuing operating costs. Not only are brooms less expensive than leaf blowers, they are also often made of more sustainable materials like wood and straw.
  • Clear the area more thoroughly and effectively –
    Don’t risk leaves and sand falling into your pool or kicking up dust that will just end up settling in the same place on your driveway. Use a broom or rake to reach those small nooks and tricky pool corners, and save yourself from sweeping up what the leaf blower leaves behind, or pulling leaves from your pool filter.

Be responsible with how you dispose of your yard waste. Open burning is not allowed without a permit from Maricopa County. For further details on burning activities and possible restrictions in Maricopa County go to: http://www.maricopa.gov/aq/divisions/compliance/dust/burning_activities/Default.aspx.

Sweep It Up Saturday is part of Clean Air Make More’s Commit to One Day initiative, providing residents and visitors with simple ways to improve air quality in Maricopa County. Participate seven days a week with Cycle Sunday, Alt Mode Monday, Ride Together Tuesday, Walk Somewhere Wednesday, No Drive-Thru Thursday, Fire Free Friday and Sweep it up Saturday. Learn more about the Commit to One Day initiative at www.cleanairmakemore.com and download the Clean Air Make More app for air quality forecasts and No Burn Day advisories, as well as other important air quality information. Connect with the Maricopa County Air Quality Department on Facebook and Twitter.