MUNCIE, Ind. — More than 60 Muncie/Delaware County houses, along with several garages and outbuildings, remain unsafe to occupy or even enter because of residue from methamphetamine labs that were dismantled by state police. The addresses, ZIP codes and year they were posted as unsafe:
2201 N. Buckles Ave., Muncie, IN 47303, Garage.
5900 W. CR 350 N Lot 14, Muncie, IN 47304, Living Room, East Bedroom.
305 W. 22nd St., Muncie, IN, 47302, Kitchen, Living Room, Front Bedroom, Basement.
1801 S. Elm St., Muncie, IN 47302.
2102 S. Biltmore Ave., Muncie, IN 47302, Basement; Back Bedroom; Outside Trash.
401 E. 8th St., Muncie, IN 47302.
128 N. Plum St., Eaton, IN 47338, Outside Trash; Burn Pit.
2001 E. 13th St., Muncie, IN 47302.
1910 S. Kathy Dr., Muncie, IN, 47302.
916 W. Jackson St. Apt 5, Muncie, IN, 47305.
3615 S. Walnut St., Muncie, IN 47302.
6 E. Ashwood Dr., Muncie IN 47303, Center Bedroom.
9 Eastwood Dr., Muncie, IN 47303, Bathroom, Living Room.
2509 S. Hoyt Ave., Muncie, IN 47302, Outbuilding: Living Room, Kitchen.
1520 E. 2nd St., Muncie, IN 47302,
3700 W. Riggin Road, Muncie, IN 47304, Garage, Basement, Kitchen.
3609 W. 27th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Garage and family room.
2318 S. Hackley St. Muncie, IN 47302 Basement.
1901 E. Yale Ave., Muncie, IN 47303, Bathroom, Kitchen, Back Storage Room.
611 E. Pine St., Muncie, IN 47303, Kitchen, Master Bedroom.
1933 W. 16th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Outside trash, South room of residence, Garage, Van.
1404 E. 24th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Bedroom.
1412 W. Memorial Dr., Muncie, IN 47302, Bedroom.
2201 E. Cornell Ave., Muncie, IN 47303, North Bedroom, South Bedroom, Bathroom, Outside.
1613 E. 1st St., Muncie, IN 47302, Middle Bedroom.
1504 N. Granville Ave., Muncie, IN 47303, No Structure (porch cabinet).
710 W. Kilgore Ave., Muncie, IN 47305, Bedroom, Outside Trash.
17909 N. Wheeling Ave., Gaston, IN, Outbuilding, Barn.
5734 S. Burlington Dr., Muncie, IN 47302, Kitchen, Utility Room, Outside, Burn Pit.
1202 S. Shipley St., Muncie, IN 47302, Utility Room, Basement, Kitchen, Outside Trash.
2410 S. Pershing Dr., Muncie, IN 47302, Bedroom, Kitchen.
908 W. 10th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Bedroom, Kitchen, Trash.
3513 W. 26th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Master Bathroom, Detached Garage.
102 S. Ohio Ave., Muncie, IN 47305, Upstairs bedroom.
2029 E. Purdue St., Muncie, IN 47303, Living Room, Northeast Bedroom,
2010 S Walling St., Muncie, IN 47302, Outbuilding – shed.
2916 S. Hackley St., Muncie, IN 47305, Utility Room.
509 S. Gharkey St., Muncie, IN 47305, Basement.
1309 E. Kirk St., Muncie, IN 47302, Bathroom; Utility Room; Trash Can.
1933 W. 16th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Garage; Trash.
1013 W. Kilgore Ave., Muncie, IN 47305, Kitchen.
507 S. Proud St., Muncie, IN 47305, Living Room, Bathroom.
1618 E. 2nd St., Muncie, IN 47302, Kitchen, Backyard.
1106 W. 18th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Living Room, Utility Room, Backyard.
1100 W. 2nd St., Muncie, IN 47302, Attic; Main Living Area.
2404½ N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Muncie, IN 47303, Outside (underneath grill); Bathroom.
1603 S. Jefferson St., Muncie, IN 47302, Kitchen.
9500 N. Wheeling Ave. #4, Muncie, IN 47304, Kitchen, Master Bedroom; Utility Room; Open Air (Yard).
110 N. Cherry St., Muncie, IN 47305, Basement.
4118 S. Pinewood Dr., Muncie, IN 47302, Bathroom; Closet.
1424 W. 9th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Southeast Bedroom; Back Porch Trash.
416 W. Jackson St. Apt. #8, Muncie, IN 47305, Bedroom.
916 W. 17th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Bathroom; Garage.
1700 E. Kirk St., Muncie, IN 47303, Kitchen.
2412 W. 9th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Trash.
3515 W. 8th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Utility Room; Shed; Trash.
1210 S. Luick St., Muncie, IN 47302, House; Garage.
1404 W. 16th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Closet; Freezer; Kitchen; Utility Room.
1409 S. Burlington Ave., Muncie, IN 47302, Garage.
708 W. Jackson St. #2, Muncie, IN 47305, Kitchen.
2107 S. Jefferson St., Muncie, IN 47302, Living Room; Bathroom.
3909 N. Lanewood Dr., Muncie, IN 47304, Garage.
1912 S. Manhattan Ave., Muncie, IN 47302, Detached Garage; Kitchen; Bedroom; Living Room.
1901 E. 18th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Kitchen; Bedroom; Closet; Living Room.
540 S. Gharkey St. #3, Muncie, IN 47305, Bedroom.
1319 E. Jackson St., Muncie, IN 47305, Backyard; Basement; Pickup Truck.
707 N. Greenbriar St., Muncie, IN 47304, Upstairs Master Bathroom.
1011 W. 14th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Northeast Bedroom; Outside
1 Eastwood Dr., Muncie, IN 47302, Bathroom; Bedroom.
1011 W. 14th St., Muncie, IN 47302, Southwest Corner of Garage; Southwest Bedroom; Under Kitchen Cabinets.
2304 W. 10th St., Muncie IN, Outbuilding (Shed).
1809 W 7th St. Apt. C.m Muncie, IN 47302m Living Room.
3408 S. Juniper Lane, Muncie IN 47302m Downstairs Hallway.
4309 N. Morrison Road, Muncie, IN 47304, Detached Garage – shelf, southeast corner.
2707 S. Mulberry St., Muncie, IN 47302, Southeast Bedroom.
3548 S. Juniper Lane, Muncie, IN 47302, East Bedroom; Kitchen Trash / Under Kitchen Sink; Outside Utility Building;.
700 W. Fuson Road #10, Muncie, IN 47302, Cabin 10, North Cabin.
Source: Indiana State Police, Delaware County Health Department
Dozens of toxic meth houses sit empty in Muncie
MUNCIE — The battle against methamphetamine in recent years has left more than 60 houses classified as unsafe to occupy because of contamination.
The good news is that more than 100 other houses have been cleaned up by owners, a coalition has been formed to address the problem and meth abuse might have peaked.
Meth in Muncie is contributing to neighborhood decline and housing abandonment; straining police, judicial, child protection and emergency services budgets; and adding to social divisions between north Muncie and south Muncie, including zip code 47302 where the most meth labs have popped up, according to an assessment by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC) at Indiana University.
The community’s response to the problem has included fear, confusion, frustration, public relations concerns, public health concerns, feeling overwhelmed and relying on others to fix it, IPRC found, based on community interviews and focus groups.
Delaware County has led the state in the number of discovered meth labs, with 148 in 2014 and 234 in 2015.
The reasons given by the community for the top ranking include outstanding surveillance, honest and vigorous policing, community reporting, cartels that sell street drugs being pushed out of Muncie for a while and perhaps less transparency and drug enforcement in other counties.
The largest contaminant left behind from a meth lab is the drug itself, made from toxic household and farm chemicals, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Like smoke damage, tiny droplets containing the drug are deposited inside the home, leaving a meth residue coating surfaces, absorbing into porous materials and contaminating the forced-air heating-cooling system. Smoking meth also will create residue in a home that is above the levels considered safe by most states.
Matt Duncan of Louisville, Ky.-based Bio-Meth Management, a state-certified cleanup contractor who bids on jobs in Muncie, gave The Star Press a report of a typical cleanup:
Based on testing results, kitchen fixtures, bath 1, HVAC and bath 2 were over the limits for meth. BMM emptied the property of contents including personal items, carpet, padding, stove and and flexible duct work, all of which were landfilled. Dust and debris were vacuumed up using a HEPA filter (high-efficiency particulate air). Surfaces including walls and floors were washed and rinsed multiple times with a hand sprayer, hot water power washer or scrub brush using commercial detergents and extraction chemicals, then vacuumed with a wet-dry Shop-Vac. The entire property was then fogged with a meth-neutralizing agent and retested.
For 2016, state police reported 26 residential meth labs to the Delaware County Health Department (as of Dec. 30), according to environmental health specialist Brodie Cook.
“That number is significantly down from previous years — 45 in 2015, 47 in 2014 and 38 in 2013,” he told The Star Press. “There were also 97 dump sites reported to me in 2016. A dump site is when a meth lab, meth waste, precursors or a combination of these are found anywhere except inside of a dwelling. Normally, dump sites consist of these materials being discarded along roadside ditches or neighborhood alleys. Dump sites are also down from the previous year. In 2015, there were 161 dump sites reported.”
Statewide, meth labs dismantled by state police peaked at 1,721 in 2013 and arrests peaked at 1,507.
According to IPRC, meth abuse is higher among whites and females.
A map of meth lab houses in Muncie maintained by Cook since 2006 indicates they can occur anywhere, but much more so on the south side, with clusters in the Old West End and southwest neighborhoods.
“The Old West End has had 21 total reported meth labs at 20 locations,” neighborhood association Brad King told The Star Press. “Ten of those have yet to be cleaned up while 11 of those have been.”
One of the meth labs was on a property down the alley behind King’s house.
“Having polluted residential properties contributes to the blight of our neighborhood,” King said. “If the general attitude toward this contamination shifted toward microbrownfields, or ‘methfields,’ perhaps more incentives would become available for redevelopment. Also of note, 18 of the 20 properties where meth labs have been reported are or were at the time of the report, by my best guess, rentals.”
Police have instructed members of the neighborhood association on how to identify meth labs.
When she was walking through the Old West End looking for a housing project, Annette Phillips noticed some houses tagged by the health department because of meth contamination. “I got curious about it and started looking into it,” she said.
A director at the nonprofit PathStone Corp., which serves low-income families and economically depressed communities, Phillips obtained a $20,000 grant from NeighborWorks America to help fund a meth action plan for Muncie, including the IPRC assessment.
“We needed to understand the problem better ourselves before we started mobilizing and doing anything,” Phillips said. “Now that we have the information back from the assessment, we are looking at and discussing that and working toward an action plan.”
Phillips chairs a meth health and housing coalition that includes representatives from the city, Ball State University, First Merchants Bank, the health department, the Delaware County Prevention Council, state and city police, United Way, Ball Brothers Foundation, the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County and others.
The coalition’s preliminary strategies include raising funds to rehab meth houses and increasing education and awareness of the problem.