State police warns public to be conscious of meth by-products

March 25, 2013

HART — With the arrival of spring, troopers at the Michigan State Police Hart Post would like to remind community cleanup groups to pay special attention to items discarded along roadsides, in parks or other public locations that could be from toxic methamphetamine (meth) dumpsites.

With an increase in production of the illegal drug methamphetamine (meth), law enforcement is finding an increasing number of meth by-products carelessly disposed of in public areas.

Meth production creates a large amount of waste, which is often deemed hazardous and usually carelessly discarded in public locations. Coming into contact with a meth dumpsite can cause serious injuries, as the items may be volatile if moved. Things to watch out for include:
• Propane tanks
• Bottles containing unknown liquids
• Bottles or jugs with tubing coming from the top
• Drain opener (contains lye)
• Metal, gallon-sized cans (Coleman fuel, denatured alcohol, acetone, toluene, etc.)
• Starting fluid cans
• Funnels, coffee filters, zip lock bags, batteries or battery casings, salt, plastic containers, pieces of hose, cold pill boxes, matches
• Any type of container that appears to have been used and may contain dried residue

“If you come across these items don’t touch, handle, shake, open or smell them,” said Lt. Kevin Leavitt, Hart Post commander. “Step back to a safe distance and call 911 immediately to notify the dispatcher that you may have come across a methamphetamine dumpsite.”

The dispatcher will ask for the specific location and a description of items seen. A person trained to respond to such scenes will then be dispatched to the location to assess the situation and determine if persons trained in hazardous waste containment are needed to remove the items.

““This warning goes not only for this time of year, but any time you may come into a situation you believe to be meth-related. Stop, back away and contact 911 immediately.”

Meth-related tips can be called into the statewide tip line at 1-866-Meth Tip (1-866-638-4847).