The Maine Department of Public Safety is advising caution to anyone picking up bottles alongside Maine roads and outdoor sites. The reason – a record breaking year is in the works for methamphetamine manufacturing in the state. Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency responded to 86 meth incidents during the first six months of this year. That compares to 56 responses for all of 2015.

Morris said more than half of this year’s responses have been to meth dump sites where usually plastic soda bottles that were used to make methamphetamine were discarded.

Of the 86 responses that MDEA has made this year, 44 have been to dump sites, usually found along roads or at other outdoor locations. Morris said that soda bottles, containing the residue of meth making remain dangerous to anyone handling it. He urged those who pick up bottles to be aware that if a bottle has a white residue inside or other material that does not look like soda, or the bottle is enlarged from its normal side, not to handle it, but call police. Last year, MDEA responded to 20 meth dump sites.

Methamphetamine is made by mixing common household ingredients, with the key component being the nasal decongestant – pseudoephedrine.

Morris said the majority of MDEA meth responses this year have been in Aroostook and Penobscot counties, both for actual meth labs and for meth dump sites. MDEA has a specially trained team that gathers and processes evidence from the sites, with the average cost of $3,000 for a meth lab and $500 for a dump site. In 2009 Maine had a single meth lab, but the numbers have increased every year since. MDEA had 20 meth responses in 2013, 37 in 2014, and 56 last year.