Passing along your old computer to places like your local church is a great idea, but is it recycling?
Of course one would think that it helps the church but, does it really?
Consider an organization that people tend to donate things to, usually the electronic stuff is so out of date and obsolete that there is nothing they can do with it, but the donator considers it to be "recycling".
Don't just dump your old stuff on an organization without asking if they actually have a use for it.
There are many places that will take your old equipment and actually take it apart to recover the common and precious metals, plastics and the like. "There is gold in them thar boards."
Usually the company doing the recovery does not charge, nor should they, and make their money from selling the recovered materials which go on to be combined with new material to form new equipment.
Bottom line; recycling is safe, can really help and in certain cases helps keep down the cost of new stuff. It all depends on your definition of "Recycling"