The best way to dispose of an old hot water heater is to try to find somewhere that it can be recycled. In many cases your old hot water heater can be dismantled and the scrap metal reused for other products. Call your local recycling center, landfill, or your city’s solid waste division to find out if they have an appliance recycling program. As an alternative, look in the yellow pages under “Recycle” or “Scrap Metal”. Call the listed recycling companies to find out if they accept hot water heaters. Some companies will pick up your appliance, and some will require that you drop it off. Some places may pay you for your appliance, while others may charge you to pick it up.
If your hot water system cannot be recycled, you should find out if your solid waste provider will collect it at the curbside or if you need to bring it to a specific facility for disposal.