Even though Australia’s ice epidemic continues to have devastating consequences for communities, it has begun to present unique business opportunities for businesses willing to clean up the mess, reported The Sydney Morning Herald on 20 April.
Industrial cleaners are among the small businesses on the front line. ‘As Australia’s problems with methamphetamine worse, business has grown steadily for these types enterprises,’ stated SMH reporter Kate Jones.
IBISWorld data shows that more than 28,000 businesses compete in Australia’s $8 billion commercial cleaning industry. Among them are industrial cleaning firms like Steamatic, that specialises in meth lap clean ups and is often first on the scene after a meth lab has been discovered.
“The biggest issue we tend to get is when we are cleaning a place and someone who wants to buy comes in and realises that their source is missing,” said Steamatic national marketing director Mark Silveira.
“The last time we had that situation, we had three employees get bailed up by one guy on ice and it took four police to hold him down.”
‘Typical restoration jobs involve thorough cleaning, proper disposal of hazardous substances and hygiene testing. Properties used to cook meth for lengthy periods may take several rounds of cleaning to pass strict hygiene examinations,’ stated The Sydney Morning Herald.
Steamatic employees also undergo specific training to prepare them for distressing scenes or risky situations when cleaning properties.
“With the crime scenes and meth labs we put them through psychological training for a start,” explained Mr Silveira. “We also put them through accredited chemicals and dangerous substance courses and then we run our own what to do in this event type training.”
After recognising a gap in the market for training, Jena Dyco managing director Jenny Boymal began meth lab clean up courses and conferences in 2010. Each year she trains up to 100 people how to properly restore properties used as clandestine meth labs.
“We realised no one knew anything about it,” she said. “Our aim was to educate different groups – from local government to police.”