Playground grime ‘thick and repellent’

THE grungy state of Hyde Park’s playground has prompted a call for more cleaning to shear off the “thick deposits of oily scum”.

Voice reader Damon James wrote in saying “my kids play at Hyde Park playground every weekend. Over the last 24 months, I have watched the disgusting brown grime on the park’s play equipment grow steadily thicker, darker and more repellent.

Grubby hands

“Whilst mud, dirt and duck poo in playgrounds is completely natural, thick brown layers 

of human-based grime from thousands of grubby hands all touching the same piece of metal or plastic, is not.”

Mr James said given the council closed down the playgrounds during Covid lockdowns for fear of airborne pathogens, “it is difficult to understand why they should ignore the thick deposits of oily scum built up on play equipment, that they clearly think is fine for our little children to handle”.

He reckoned a decent degreaser and hot high pressure washdown should do the trick.

We put Mr James’ complaint to Vincent council, and after staff went down to have a look they’ve decided step up the cleaning frequency.

“We’re sorry to hear of this experience and always welcome feedback from our community,” mayor Emma Cole wrote back.

“The City of Vincent’s current playground cleaning practice is for our graffiti team to pressure clean the equipment, which last occurred at the end of June following a request from a community member. 

“After inspecting the playground this week, the Vincent Parks team has decided the current cleaning process for our very popular and high-use playgrounds, like Hyde Park, requires review and is working on a more intensive cleaning program. 

“In the meantime, the Hyde Park playground will have a deep clean in time for the weekend.”

Mr James suggested the much-cleaner handrails outside Vincent council chambers could serve as a benchmark. “I expect that complaints would roll in thick and fast if they looked anything like those found at Hyde Park.”


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