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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 12:50 GMT
Dirty Business: Mafia and the garbage trade in the USA
First broadcast December 2006

Rubish bin in New York City
Vast amounts of waste are exported daily from the industrialised world to developing countries - all in the name of recycling.

But much of this trade is illegal, dangerous and environmentally disastrous to the countries who receive it.

Liz Carney travels to India, Nigeria, Czech Republic and the USA to lift the lid on the multi billion dollar trade that dumps western waste on some of the world's poorest nations.

Part Four: Mafia and the garbage trade in the USA

Rubbish is big business in the United States. Liz Carney investigates claims that large swathes of New York and Connecticut's garbage industry have been run by a cartel, which rigged prices and contracts, and charged a 'mob' tax, enforced by threats of violence and fear.

29 defendants and 10 companies face charges ranging from racketeering to extortion and tax evasion; some garbage companies themselves are being monitored by US Marshalls.

Whatever the outcome of the forthcoming trials, the Governor of Connecticut has proposed a licensing system which would vet companies and individuals before allowing them to enter the business.

New York City introduced such a system after a landmark case there smashed the mob's control over the city's garbage industry.

Their stranglehold was broken by the extraordinary undercover work of a New York detective, who posed as a garbage hauler and infiltrated the top echelons of the mafia.

Despite the risks the operation eventually lead to the conviction of a large number of corrupt garbage company owners and senior members of the Genovese and Gambino crime families who ran the commercial trash industry in New York.

This programme tells the inside tale of how its success helped boost New York's economy.


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Dirty Business - Part 4: Mafia and the garbage trade in the US

Liz Carney reports on the multi billion dollar trade that dumps western waste on some of the world's poorest nations.

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