Purpose: Recovery of metals and precious metals from electronic waste (e-waste) has been an important topic not only for economic aspect but also for recycling rare natural sources and reducing the e-waste to prevent the environmental pollution. The paper presents data concerning material composition of e-waste, with particular attention directed to the precious metals and possibility of their recovery from Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). Design/methodology/approach: Material balance, one of the most popular and widespread e-waste in the form of used mobile phones, has been conducted. The results of preliminary leaching of precious metals from ground mass of PCBs derived from used mobile phones have been also shown. Findings: Main source of precious metals in e-waste are PCBs. In the adopted experimental conditions, when aqua regia was used in the second stage of the leaching, precious metals have not been effectively recovered. Material complexity of PCBs may complicate the hydrometallurgical processes and can reduce the effectiveness of metals recovery. Research limitations/implications: E-waste consists of several components in the form of metals and multi-material elements. The base metals include iron, copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, selenium, indium, gallium and precious metals. Hazardous substances that can be found in e-waste, include: mercury, beryllium, lead, arsenic, cadmium, antimony. In addition, the large material group consists of plastics, glass and ceramics. Recovery of desired material with such a diverse group of waste requires the use of complex technology recycling. The biggest problem is a necessity of applying different technologies for the processing of various materials, which are extracted in the subsequent stages of recycling. Practical implications: This cognitive work provides the basis for further research. Originality/value: It is a research work.