Since printed circuit boards (PCBs) are found in almost every single electronic device, from a DVD player or digital camera to video game consoles and the latest electronic toys, there are many PCBs out there. Although many of these items are simply binned, parts from them can all be recycled and used in various other ways. This is true of any printed circuit parts that have been used in these devices and recycling them is a fairly easy process.
To recycle PCBs you will need different size pliers for the range of sized components, soldering iron, vice grip, something to put your components in and although not essential you may find a desoldering pump useful. To break down the components of your printed circuit, place it in the vice grip and begin to remove the different components using suitably sized pliers and the soldering iron. Hold the component you want with the pliers and use the soldering iron to remove the solder on the other side. If you continue this process for all components on the printed circuit board then you should end up with a lot of components that can be recycled and used again for various uses.
Some of the items you will remove could include capacitors, switches, resistors, LEDs, transistors, motor and screws, all of which can be used in future projects. The components you can recycle from old electronic devices doesn’t end with the printed circuit, and plastic or metal cases can be recycled wither in future projects or if you have no use for them then you can take them to the local recycling boxes.
If you need help in identifying the different elements of a printed circuit, then have a look at this useful Wikipedia page on electronic components.