From NYTimes.com: A Green Way to Dump Low-Tech Electronics
Since 2004, 18 states and New York City have approved laws that make manufacturers responsible for recycling electronics, and similar statutes were introduced in 13 other states this year. The laws are intended to prevent a torrent of toxic and outdated electronic equipment — television sets, computers, monitors, printers, fax machines — from ending up in landfills where they can leach chemicals into groundwater and potentially pose a danger to public health.
“If you make it easy, they will recycle their stuff,” said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, a nonprofit group based in San Francisco. If products are recycled rather then dumped, parts of the machines are refurbished for new use where possible; if not, they are disassembled, their glass and precious metals are recycled, and the plastics, which have no reuse market, are often shipped overseas to developing countries for disposal.
So, “green” means disposing the most toxic parts of the computer in overseas developing countries. You know that they’re just burning it or tossing it into a landfill over there. We’re stripping the electronics of all the valuable and easy to recycle parts and sending the most toxic parts off for others to deal with. I guess it beats throwing it straight in the trash.