SYDNEY's Leichhardt Council has replaced the majority of its garden care and power equipment range, with quieter and more fuel efficient Honda-powered four-stroke equipment.
"The council is trying to be as environmentally-sensitive as it can," Leichhardt Council team leader Glen Laws said.
"We're educating our residents to recycle as much as possible, we're using biodiesel instead of petroleum diesel fuel, and we've gone from two-stroke to four-stroke machines to cut down on emissions across our whole power equipment line-up.
"What we're trying to do is take every opportunity to be as 'green' as possible."
The municipality of Leichhardt covers an area of more than 1000 hectares that includes 79 parks, gardens and reserves and 17 kilometres of frontage to Sydney's famous harbour and the Parramatta River.
Maintenance of this large area is undertaken by 18 area teams who have a fleet of tractors, mowers, brushcutters, edgers and blowers at their disposal.
"We have around 50 Honda-powered lawnmowers, along with a similar number of Honda brushcutters and blowers, as well as a Honda-powered Atom edger per crew," Mr Laws said.
"Using Honda four-stroke equipment does cut down on emissions but there are other benefits such as an improvement in fuel efficiency, and there's no need for fuel mixing like in the two-strokes.
"The equipment that we use has to also be robust to do the job, and stand up to the demands of long-hour use."
Mr Laws said a further benefit with the advanced four-stroke Honda power was noise reduction.
"Council at times receives complaints about noisy equipment particularly leaf blowers being used by residents, that's another reason why we've chosen to go with four-stroke power in our blowers," he said.
Honda Power Equipment manager Bob Donaldson said Honda's HHB25 blower, as used by Leichhardt Council, was the world's first four-stroke blower.
"The Honda blower is revolutionary," Mr Donaldson said, "using a compact yet powerful 25 cc GX25 mini four-stroke engine, the blower expulses an impressive 70m/sec wind velocity while offering improved efficiency and less noise and vibrations than two-stroke units.
"A further benefit of the GX mini four-stroke engine which is also used in all of Honda's brushcutter models and hedge cutter, is that it's 360 degree inclinable, making it ideal for awkward angles and hand-held applications.”