When most people think of green solutions, they think of low-emission technology to reduce air pollution and the effects of climate change. However, there is another harmful form of pollution not to be overlooked: noise.

Noise pollution is a common safety risk that requires protective measures in the workplace, and is also a common cause of complaints from within the community. So it’s in a council’s best interests to ensure their landscaping and cleansing equipment fleets not only tick the sustainability box, but also minimise public disturbance.

Noise pollution, and the resulting noise complaints, are a significant challenge for councils, particularly when it comes to maintaining high density residential areas – nobody wants to be woken by a noisy diesel street sweeper at 3am. Noise is such a common complaint that each council typically has their own reporting and resolution process, taking up council resources and time.

The equipment operated by workers in landscaping and maintenance of council infrastructure, parks, community centres and other public spaces, commonly produces excessive noise output. This has led to implementation of time restrictions in many local government areas, limiting when works may be performed.

A further consideration when working with noisy equipment, is the resource and energy associated with the provision of adequate hearing safety protection. For councils, electric maintenance vehicles are a solution to the age-old issue of noise complaints, whilst also promoting safer work practices, and reducing emissions at the same time.

Gentle on the ears

Noise pollution can have a detrimental impact on health and wellbeing, with the potential to cause stress, reduced concentration, productivity loss, communication difficulties, and fatigue from lack of sleep. Additionally, among the more serious effects are cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, tinnitus and hearing loss.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report in 2011 that had collected data on environmental noise and found that while other forms of pollution are decreasing, noise pollution is not. The study concluded that over one million healthy years of life are lost annually to noise-induced health problems.

ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) vehicles and equipment are known to produce excessive noise, and the effects are felt by residents and council workers alike. Whereas electric fleets operate considerably quieter and minimise public disruption. Deploying electric equipment and vehicles when carrying out landscaping and maintenance work is one simple solution that can reduce noise and air pollution, providing a sustainable alternative that is gentle on the ears.

Keeping streets clean, quietly

EcoTeq is leading the way in Australia by providing 100 per cent electric outdoor landscaping and city cleansing equipment for businesses and councils. EcoTeq’s electric equipment operates at less than 80 decibels across the entire range of street sweepers and commercial ride on mowers (or even lower). Safe Work Australia regulations state that workers must not be exposed above 85 decibels (as an average) over eight hours, without adequate hearing protective measures.

While EcoTeq’s equipment operates below this threshold, hearing protection is still recommended for extended use. Emitting such a low volume of operational noise, EcoTeq’s range is much less disruptive in built-up residential or tourist areas. This means mowing and pavement sweeping can be performed during off-peak times, without the risk of waking sleeping community members – and without the risks associated with operating equipment around pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Low-noise operation enables councils to work extended hours of operation. For example in Spring when both the daylight hours and the grass is getting longer, maintenance teams have the option to start mowing earlier and finish later, to help councils get in front of the heavy growth season. Switching from ICE to electric-powered vehicles and equipment offers a safe and sustainable means for councils to keep cities clean and beautiful, without the production of unreasonable and disruptive noise.

For more information on how your council can adopt a quiet and electric maintenance fleet, visit www.ecoteq.com.au

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by EcoTeq. For more information visit www.ecoteq.com.au/

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