Pirie's Cleaning and Greening team continues to serve community

TEAM: Port Pirie's Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP) Project Operations manager Phil Lacey, left, with the Cleaning and Greening team Corey Schroeter, Blake Nagel, Josh Hampton, Harley Winders and Jake Smith.
TEAM: Port Pirie's Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP) Project Operations manager Phil Lacey, left, with the Cleaning and Greening team Corey Schroeter, Blake Nagel, Josh Hampton, Harley Winders and Jake Smith.

Striving for a cleaner and greener future for the Port Pirie community.

The Targeted Lead Abatement Program's (TLAP) Cleaning and Greening team play a significant role in reducing lead exposure in Port Pirie to ensure blood-lead levels remain as low as possible.

The team, a familiar sight around the town in their colourful van and trucks, has ramped up cleaning hard surfaces and playgrounds, and its greening is blooming with 20,000 native plants soon to be planted around Port Pirie.

Project Manager Phil Lacey started with TLAP in September 2015 and has since developed the cleaning and greening program into what it is today.

"When I started, the cleaning program was three guys and two trucks going out washing stuff down," he said.

The Cleaning and Greening team now consists of eight workers, who provide community cleaning, surface washing, and growing and planting across Port Pirie, in collaboration with the Port Pirie Regional Council.

Mr Lacey said the introduction of advanced equipment has improved the Cleaning and Greening team's efficiency in reducing lead dust in the community.

"The operations have changed dramatically over the past four years because we now have a handheld XRF unit, which is a reader that will tell us how much lead is in a sample of dust," he said.

"We can gather some real data around what we are doing then we can respond to it.

"We want to move into a space where we are physically removing lead out of the community.

"So, instead of just washing down community infrastructure, playgrounds and footpaths we are going to be sweeping and collecting the waste using new dedicated road and footpath sweepers. This equipment is being trialled around town now.

"We have the equipment now to focus our clean-up efforts in high-risk areas to help reduce the community's exposure to lead and we now have the capacity to measure how much we are taking out of the community."

Mr Lacey said that it is important that the community are aware of TLAP's cleaning and greening program and how it operates.

"We often get feedback that it's a waste of water doing our wash down work, but we don't use mains water," he said.

"The water we use is water from Nyrstar's reverse osmosis plant which is water that has been desalinated out of the Pirie river.

"People in Port Pirie have a lot to be proud of. There is a real community atmosphere, but what we need is to get some energy behind ramping up the profile of Pirie.

"I think a program like TLAP and what we are doing here is really important ... the bigger picture of this is if we can clean-up, we can start to change the perception of the wider community around Pirie."

For more information on TLAP's projects follow them on Facebook or visit www.tlap.com.au

You can contact TLAP via email: enquiry@tlap.com.au

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