Those of us who work with electronics and computers realize and acknowledge that the equipment can produce a lot of nasty stuff when it comes time to get rid of it. Some of the materials such as gold and rare earth metals can be recovered, while other needs to be disposed of safely.
One would hope that your computer recycler is doing the job they are supposed to do - and there are pretty strict guidelines in place to ensure that happens.
However, people being what they are, there are always those out to make a buck by any means necessary, and such appears to be the case with a couple of Midwestern recycling business owned by Brian Brundage.
...feds allege that Brundage shipped some of those electronics for illegal disposal in landfills overseas. Those electronics included Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) from old computer and TV monitors, which contained “hazardous amounts of lead,” as well as batteries. The electronics that weren't shipped to Asia were destroyed inappropriately on the premises of his businesses or stockpiled indefinitely in warehouses, which is forbidden by federal guidelines.
It's also alleged that in order to get certifications, the companies would set up elaborate "show" areas during inspections - making it appear they were doing everything by the book.