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Hundreds turn out for Lawnmower Trade-In Day

April 23, 2011 |  3:59 pm

In Turkey, Saturday was Children's Day. And in much of the world, it was the day before Easter.

But in San Diego County, it was the 12th annual Lawnmower Trade-In Day.

Any county resident could turn in their gas-powered lawnmower and, in exchange, get to buy a Black and Decker cordless, battery-operated, electric mulching lawnmower for $99 -- regularly priced at about $399.

The event was sponsored by the county Board of Supervisors and the county Air Pollution Control District. Some 5,200 battery-operated, zero-emission lawnmowers have been purchased since the trade-in program began in 2000.

This year, 752 people took the deal, with distribution starting at 8 a.m. The public had been warned that there was a limited number of new mowers. (As it turned out, there were enough for everyone.)

Pat Patterson of National City was the first in line, at 8 p.m. Friday. Second was Frank Alonzo of Chula Vista, who arrived at 1:30 a.m. Most people arrived between 4 and 6 a.m.

Old cars get the rap but, pound for pound, it's old lawnmowers that spew out pollution, officials said.

"The average gasoline-powered lawnmower spews out 40 times more pollution than a late-model car," said county Supervisor Ron Roberts.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Gas-powered lawnmowers were turned in for something newer, less polluting.

Credit: San Diego County government