This Sunday’s 60 Minutes exposes what looks like a ghastly e-waste dismantling facility in Guiyu, China. Thugs overseeing the dump jumped Scott Pelley and his crew, but the newsies managed to get out with their cameras.
The Chinese attackers were trying to protect a lucrative business of mining the e-waste-junked computers, televisions and other old electronic products-for valuable components, including gold. “They’re afraid of being found out. This is smuggling. This is illegal,” says Jim Puckett, founder of the Basel Action Network, a group working to stop the dumping of toxic materials in poor countries that certifies ethical e-waste recyclers in the United States. “A lot of people are turning a blind eye here. And if somebody makes enough noise, they’re afraid this is all going to dry up.”