"60 Minutes" Catches American Tech Trash Firm Red-Handed
American firm found to be illegally transporting tech trash to China, transforming a town in southern China into a toxic wasteland
It turns out many recycling companies are shipping the trash overseas to make a quick profit, at the expense of polluting the environment, and exposing people in countries like China to deadly health problems.
The show tracked the electronics to a town in southern China known as Guiyu, which CBS calls a “sort of Chernobyl of electronic waste”. The town was overrun with corrupt officials, who tried to fool the reporters with a faked shop and then forced them out of town with a police escort. Risking life and limb and returning to the town, the reporters found people melting boiling lead off components, inhaling massive amounts of lead vapor. Others were using a gold-extracting acid recipe not used in the western world since the Middle Ages, due to its toxic effects.
After getting jumped by thugs, hired by the local mayor, CBS narrowly escaped with evidence of the dire situation in hand.
We followed this container to Hong Kong.”
Mr. Richter responded, “Ok.”
CBS followed, “And I wonder why that would be?”
Mr. Richter responded, “Hmm. I have no clue.”
Several emphatic denials later, Mr. Richter stated, “I know this is your job. But, unfortunately, you know, when you attack small business owners like this and you don’t have all your facts straight, it’s unfortunate, you know?”
The facts remain indisputable, though — CBS had solid video evidence that Executive Recycling was illegally smuggling tech trash overseas for a quick profit.