Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Dirty, Dangerous Job: Cleaning Up Meth Labs

September 14, 2010 - Kelly Mynatt steps in when the police step out.

The hazardous-materials crew that responds when police seize a methamphetamine lab removes the lab and its components only. Any further cleanup becomes the responsibility of the owner - who turns to a cleanup specialist such as Mynatt.

Mynatt spent six years removing methamphetamine labs for Eagle-SWS, which handles most local removals for law enforcement. Last year she started her own company, Eco-Ethics.

The job takes her to houses, apartments, motels and trailer parks around the state. Prices so far have ranged from $1,500 to $26,000.

"The main concern is always the safety of the next person," Mynatt said. "Unfortunately, some houses and cars just can't be saved."

Sometimes she finds a few surprises. A walk through a quarantined meth house last week on Oakdale Highway turned up discarded lab components and other leftover drug gear - including needles scattered among children's toys on the floor.


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