The South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force (SCKDTF) has been finding more and more dangerous “meth trash” in Logan and Simpson counties in recent months and want the public to be aware of just how dangerous it can be.
The dump sites can be in either secluded wooded areas or along roadsides and ditch lines.
“Generally, we’re finding that when they get finished cooking their methamphetamines, they are taking the leftover trash and just throwing it out of their car windows,” said Jere Hopson, the director of the SCKDTF. “We also are finding that sometimes when they go out into a wooded area to cook meth, they just leave the trash where it is.”
The leftover meth trash can look as simple as a pile of old soda bottles.
“They will often have a kind of powdery sludge in the bottom of them,” Hopson said.
And while the bottles may look harmless - they are not.
“They use acids and corrosives both to make meth,” Hopson said. “And both of those can cause chemical burns if they get on the skin.”
Often containers - including soda bottles - may have tubing running out of them.
“Those are called HCL generators and the meth cookers use them by putting sulfuric acid and salt and mixing them together in them,” Hopson said.
And when you mix those two ingredients, you get hydrogen chloride gas.
“A lot of times, the meth cookers will think they are all used up, but there can still be some sulfuric acid and salt left in them,” Hopson said. “If the leftovers get mixed together by picking them up, a little puff of smoke will come out and that’s hydrogen chloride gas and if it’s inhaled, it can fry your lungs.”
If you find something you suspect to be meth trash, you can either call your local law enforcement or contact the SCKDTF directly at 725-4972.