In 1990, The Center for Investigative Reporting collaborated with FRONTLINE to produce and broadcast the award-winning documentary “Global Dumping Ground.” It’s an hourlong look at a toxic trade that spans the globe – one that still exists today, as we learn in this week’s Reveal episode, “America’s digital dumping ground.”
The documentary focused on a dirty secret: the shipping of hazardous waste from the U.S. to Taiwan. Correspondents Lowell Bergman and Bill Moyers take us to Taiwan’s processing zone, where it’s cheaper to ship electronics for disposal. The catch is that this type of toxic work takes a toll on workers’ health and the surrounding environment.
Since the documentary’s release, the Taiwanese government has put a stop to the practice there – but the practice itself hasn’t stopped. It’s moved to countries such as China and Pakistan. Because while a United Nations treaty bans the export of hazardous waste across international borders, the U.S. doesn’t abide by that treaty.
So on this #ThrowbackThursday, watch this doc to see how a cheap and convenient solution for Americans has been dangerous business for some of the most desperate places on the planet for more than 25 years.