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Track My Trash - join in the debate

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Eamonn Walsh | 14:55 UK time, Monday, 16 May 2011

How does a broken TV thrown out at a council site in London end up 3,000 miles away on a toxic dump in West Africa where children scavenge for metal waste in a cocktail of poisonous fumes?

In Track My Trash, using tracking equipment inside broken TV sets, Panorama investigates the illegal market in electronic waste - and the re-cycling companies whose green credentials may not be all they claim.

We welcome your thoughts on this programme. Please use this forum to leave a comment.


  • Comment number 1.

    This is not only terrible for the global environment and for the people involved, but it is also bad economics. Customers and taxpayers in the UK are being ripped off as they pay for this waste to be recycled properly. Also, by failing to invest in modern environmentally friendly and efficient recycling systems we are missing out on a major opportunity to advance an important future industry (materials recycling!). No doubt we will soon be buying that technology back from other countries that have invested in it.

  • Comment number 2.

    Never mind about my TV, the real question is how on earth did this guy get a job doing voice over work? He has the most monotone and boring voice I have ever heard. I am nearly asleep

  • Comment number 3.

    Ok let's take off our do gooder hats and examine the impact of stopping this practise. The kids who do this work would have no money if you take this away. So it's only ethical to peruse this if you can ensure that something else is provided to fill that gap. Otherwise the next panorama will be about the starving children and the cause will be do gooders who are feeling good about stopping waste disposal and it's effects on the kids.

  • Comment number 4.

    all that shit about that does not add up if the african government done ther job properly ther wont be kids rootin for scrap metal obviously ther are brown enverlopeds gettin past about at the docks. in my eyes it just lookes like one big setup. who in the write mind takes a telly apart n keeps the tracker n trows the tv away wat a cock up. Need to get out ther catch the real criminals i.e the drug barons instead of petty little crimes 2 make urself look good!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    I must have missed something. At what point did the boring narrator explain the economics that drives this business, who paid for the trash to be sent to Nigeria? Why is it more cost effective to send it there than to process it in the UK?

  • Comment number 6.

    After just watching the programme " Track my trash" aired Monday 16th May 2011
    It was quite obvious that you struggled to find enough material to fill the show. Please answer my following points
    1) why did you open both the container doors on the dock knowing they would fall out? And as for wrapping the goods they all met the guidelines as set by the EA.
    2)Did your "electrician" turn the TV s on or just PAT test?
    3) The TV you tracked to felixstowe docks why did you not show  the damage to it once you found it?
    4) Why were there armed police involved? Surly a waste of tax payers  money
    5) do you really expect us to believe you tracked that TV to Ghana your reporters words " I've our tracked TV" all I seen was a black box, no TV actually found!
    Over all your programme had a lot of holes in the story and if you watch it back I think you will agree.
    I look forward to your response  
    Licence fee payer

  • Comment number 7.

    Well done Panorama! You have excelled yourself this time,

    “Track my Trash” should be renamed “Film my Trash”

    What a load of rubbish, it was obvious you were struggling to complete the 30 minute air time…

    You started with three trackers and three Televisions and ended up with no televisions, and one suspect tracker yet still managed to make a program????

    As per other peoples comments on this blog, you went half way round the world to track ONE TV, which surprise surprise you still didn’t find, (what a waste of license payers money, is this the kind of thing we pay our TV license for)?

    The guy at the docks who opened the container who said they had been stacked wrong should think again as they were staked to the EA guidelines??

    You went to a village were you supposedly tracked one television to, and the guy who says he had it, has thrown it away? But doesn’t know where or cant remember where, but yet again surprise surprise the one part of the television you were looking for, he just happened to have kept…….

    Maybe you should give up presenting TV programs and go into something more suitable – like comedy…..
    This is a serious topic yet you made a complete joke of it!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    What an utter joke!!
    The most pointless, staged setup, waste of time and money I have ever had the misfortune of viewing!!
    To answer the blogs above, the UK tax payer is not paying for any of this.
    Overseas business men are purchasing items to import into their own countries for resale.
    They are investing in the British economy and helping secure many British jobs at this difficult time - recycling operatives, truck drivers, dock workers, shipping lines, etc.
    Panorama should be utterly ashamed of themselves for risking so many jobs without investigating the true picture.
    These business men are also creating industry and many jobs in their own country where there would otherwise be nothing and widespread starvation.
    I think Panorama have shown an extremely untrue version of events.
    The point of involving the police at the tax payers expense, was what exactly??
    Considering the supposed injustices Raphael has suffered himself, I find it extremely difficult to comprehend why he would even consider subjecting any other person to this????
    'not being able to name a company due to legal reasons' suggests to me that maybe you don't have the hard evidence against this company you would like us to believe.
    Why were we never actually shown these supposed broken tracked TV's being tested at the dock side? Who is to say they were not repaired before shipment?
    It certainly appears the programme was panned out and bluffed many issues, you obviously struggled to fill your 29 minute slot!!!
    Isn’t it funny how Raphael had plenty of time to travel around the world to track non-existent TV’s, yet he doesn’t seem to be able to spare 5 minutes to answer our blogs’s????

  • Comment number 9.


    you expect us to believe the farse that was broadcast yesterday evening no hard evidence was actually shown only fiction

    and as we all know fiction is a made up story for entertainmet purposes and hard facts are what we believe!!!!


    if it wasnt so sad it would be laughable

    i hope raphael or anyone on the panorama team never get accused of anything because you never know there may be a production company waiting to pounce to fill their 30 minute slot on tv!

    i hope panorama answer these questions asked by the general public and explain the bad editing and even acting i just witnessed the ea agent that was featured needs to re train as he doesnt know what the right way to pack a container is that does nothing for the ea reputation does it?? or was he told to say these things to make the story seem more gastly????

    lets hope panorama clear this mess up!!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    There should be more artists like Nitin Lachhani whom uses redundant TV's to create interactive art.

    See http://www.bradfordbahamas.com

  • Comment number 11.

    I always thought the BBC was unbiased, honest and that Panorama only aired true solid facts.

    How wrong was I?

    After viewing Track my Trash, my only comment is ham acting.

    Cast (sorry presenters) played up to the camera.

    How bad was the "Official" who opened the container, right side good, enter stage left, open the door, move well back, as he knew before he opened it that the contents would fall.
    This shot would not have been given air time on You've been framed.
    Why didn't you air the camera man being thrown into the canal, that would have been shown on YBF, or did it not really happen.

    It looked as though the guy in Ghana was prompted by Panorama to retrieve the tracker.
    Do you have a TV?
    A TV which does not work?
    A look of recognition, oh yes, and low and behold as if by magic he has a tracker, but no TV.

    Hope the guy disposed of the TV legally!!

    Why did he keep the tracker and not the TV, stinks of set up set up set up, or was it an all expenses paid holiday, paid for by the likes of me, a hard working license payer.

    Panorama has definitely let me down, for years I believed in you, as I did Father Christmas, and then I find its all Trash.
    We as license holders should "Track your Cash", sorry that should be our cash not yours.

    What gives you the right to set honey traps and film the companies, potentially ruining businesses and their way of live and the lives of their families, they are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, not your show.

  • Comment number 12.

    11 comments later and still no reply from Panorama.
    You can't be excused for being away as we noticed you were happy to make contact with the UK on your holiday, sorry working trip to Ghana.
    I'm stil await your feedback!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    Still no reply hey guys???? Joke!!!!!
    Just wondering how infact Raphael disposed of this so called broken TV he managed to purchase from an African shop.
    If infact the TV was at the end of it's life, hope he has an approved audit trail for it's safe disposal!

  • Comment number 14.

    After watching the programme for a second time, I would like to ask how the LG telly came into the story.
    At the beginning of the programme you put trackers into 3 T.V.'s a Sony, Ferguson and JVC, not a mention of the LG, but this T.V. is tracked to 2 countries.
    Where are the 3 original T.V.'s, do you have them or only the trackers?

    Plus the hands we were shown burnt and with plasters, were definitely not the hands of the 12 year old you interviewed in English but replied in his mother tongue, they looked like the hands of an adult.

    If we send so many sets abroad, what does Nigeria etc, do with their waste? are they set alight or are you wanting us to believe it is only the waste of the UK, (not forgetting Australia as this country was mentioned several times) which is causing environment problems.

    If the environment agent is so concered in Nigeria, why does he not stop the burning of wire in his country.

  • Comment number 15.

    Panorama is a farse how can you suggest that the container was not packed properly,
    also how can you suppose that other tv's were being shipped that were in a non working condition you never shown that you tested anymer and the one you found with your tracking device was found very quickly it just happened to be near to the doors how convienient is that.

    i have known the un named business for 15 years and can say they have always stuck to regulations trustworthy and honest and do everything by the book.
    i was disgusted to see the programme it is a complete and utter joke,
    why did you not turn up at the place of work and test tv's there i know all tv's they have coming in are tested with proper equiptment i think the tracker never even went to this place it is a case of malitious gossip and you needed to fill a slot on you show why as there not been a follow up and why did the un named party not get their say,
    instead the get contracts suspended and now lost effecting all of the staff working there
    i think this un named company should have a fair chance to comment the other company did get that chance but you camera man was forced into the canal
    it should have been the rest of you crew as well

    can you not even understand no one is perfect and human error is to blame for the one tv thav got missed,

    i am disgusted and this should be resolved as they run an inportant service second to none in the northwest

    yours very anoyed


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