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Episode 2

With tales from old binmen and film archive that has never been broadcast before, this two-part series offers an original view of the history of modern Britain - from the back end where the rubbish comes out.

The second programme deals with the 1970s and 1980s, when two big ideas emerged in the waste management industry.

The first was privatisation of public services. We meet Ian Ross, who made millions by taking over the refuse collection contract from the council that had once employed him as a binman. 'It was scary', Ian Ross admits, 'but you have one chance don't you, and you've got to take it.'

The other idea that emerged was environmentalism. Ron England goes back to the supermarket car park in Barnsley, South Yorkshire where he set up the world's first bottle bank. 'Everyone said I was a crank', recalls Ron.

But the waste stream continued to expand. This was great news for the Earls of Aylesford. The present Earl shows how his palace was saved with money earned from the enormous landfill in the grounds.

This is the story of a society hooked on wastefulness - and of the people who clear up the mess.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Wed 23 Sep 2015 02:10

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Role Contributor
Executive ProducerEmma Hindley
ProducerChris Durlacher
DirectorChris Durlacher