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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 15:53 GMT
If... The Toxic Timebomb Goes Off
Every hour the UK produces enough rubbish to fill the Albert Hall. And in 20 years, the amount of waste we produce will double.

We are running out of the facilities to deal with all of our waste.

If we are not careful, organised crime will get rid of our waste in a way that will poison future generations.

Thursday, 31 March, 2005
1900 BST

The IF series of drama documentaries continues with a crime thriller set 10 years in the future, bringing the impending environmental crisis to life.

Based on rigorous research and extensive interviews with experts, the programme depicts a scenario in Britain that is already taking place in countries like Italy, where 30% of the waste stream is controlled by organised crime.


Landfill site
The UK is running out of landfill sites in which to dump its waste
It is 2015.

A mysterious freighter loaded with toxic waste docks in the Port of Dover. The waste disappears into the night.

Meanwhile, in another part of England, a scientist is taking soil samples in a woodland. He is brutally murdered.

His body is later found dangling in a giant mechanical claw of a waste incinerator, and DC Temple and DI MacGuire from Murder Investigation Squad are called.

They have few clues to go on, but begin searching in the stream of rubbish that flows throughout the city.

Soon, they will find themselves in an underworld few people know exists - the world of waste traffic.

21st century criminals no longer smuggle just arms, drugs or sex slaves.

They increasingly smuggle rubbish - sometimes in vast amounts.

Known in Europe as the eco-mafia, they make annual profits of more than 4 billion a year.

Much of the waste they are dumping is highly toxic.

Speaking on behalf of the environmental community are Claire Wilton of Friends of the Earth and toxico-pathologist Dr Vyvyan Howard. Peter Jones of Biffa Waste Management and John Collis of Onyx waste management give the perspective of the waste industry. Journalist Anton McCabe, Magistrate Donato Cheglie, and Martin Brocklehurst of the Environment Agency provide testimony to the extent of waste crime.

Producer: Nicolas Brown
Assistant producer: Sally Brindle
Series editor: Mary Downes


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