Since I’ve already had occasion to whinge about the use of leaf-blowers I thought I’d follow it up with a little bit of evidence. The first thing I’ve done is sent in a request for information to the City Council, and they’ll soon be getting details out to me about where else people are complaining about this particular noise. There’s also a letter in both the Capital Times and the Wellingtonian. Apparently the DomPost ignored me.
Further good news is that I’m not the only person in the building who’s annoyed at Transpacific Industries (the cleaning company), it looks like a committee is forming. An the one thing you do not do is mess with a Wellington committee.
If you’re not aware of what’s been going on, Transpacific has acquired the contract for street cleaning and has taken to the use of a leaf-blower (which is a noise akin to a lawn-mower) at around 4am every morning. From speaking to the guy at Transpacific this is because it is the most efficient way to get “sticky” or “tricky” dirt like cigarette butts and small papery rubbish off the footpath, and out into the street where it is swept up by one of their (relatively quiet) trucks.
No problem with that reasoning from me. It’s an efficient approach, only uses one man so it says ratepayers money, and they’re apparently using low-decibel leaf-blowers. And after all, this is an urban environment, you have to put up with a little noise. We for example never complain about drunks singing, buses, trucks, goddamn boy racers, bottle bins, pubs, or parties.
But let’s look at the issue at hand.
One: The leaf blower is a loud, droning noise active nightly at 4am. This is contrary to the Council’s own regulations about cleaning noise between the hours of 8pm and 7.30am.
Two: The one man working efficiently has been closely observed by me. He’s frequently a dude wandering aimlessly pointing his leaf blower almost randomly at walls, footpath, trees, cars, whatever. At least if he has a brush and shovel he’d be forced to approach a bit of rubbish and actually pick it up or sweep it somewhere.
Three: They aren’t actually cleaning the street. And here’s my evidence. All these photos where taken around 7.30am, a couple of hours after the blower came through, so not too much time for the rubbish to mount up.
Here’s my neighbourhood: Cuba St.
And here’s the rubbish, starting walking along the road from the right, then back down the left of the picture.
Thing is, you want to say, “but that’s only tiny bits of rubbish – except for all the bags of crap and bottles – why is it a problem?! Whinger!” Because… that’s why they’re using a leaf-blower instead of a brush and shovel.
And some days the rubbish isn’t there at all.
And while I think of it, do you see a pattern? If not let me point it out to you: smokers are lazy.