How to Recycle Circuit Boards

by Josh Baum

Electronic circuit boards from computers, DVD players and other home electronics are not biodegradable. If disposed through ordinary means, they'll end up in landfills and add to the burden on the environment. But if they're recycled, they can be separated into their reusable and non-reusable parts. The reusable parts can be reinstalled in other electronics, and the other parts can be used to make industrial building products and even to repair potholes.

Visit a website that maintains directories of electronics recycling centers in the United States, such as Earth911.com (see Resources). Enter your zip code to locate a recycling center near you.

Review the specific types of electronic devices the recyclers in your area will accept. Some may accept electronics of all kinds, including separated circuit boards as well as assembled electronics that contain circuit boards. Others may only accept more narrow categories of electronic parts and devices. Call or email to confirm that the recycler will accept your circuit boards.

Call computer and office supply stores in your area and ask if they accept circuit boards for recycling. If not, the staff may be able to point you in the right direction.

Check with your local U.S. Post Office: many accept used circuit boards for recycling.

Travel to the recycling center and drop off your circuit boards and electronics. In some cases, a recycling fee may be charged, although this is rare. In other cases, a small honorarium may be paid to you for your donation, but again, this is a rare case with regards to recycling electronics.

Items you will need

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Photo by Pavel Matoušek