Water Heater Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Large Item Pickup Alternative Ways to Recycle Ask the Installers to Haul It Away Paying a company to install a new water heater? Many installers provide water heater disposal as part of their service. Recycle With Scrap Metal Water heaters contain metals such as aluminum, brass, copper and steel, and can be recycled at participating scrap metal recyclers. Find out what to do with scrap metal here. Ways to Reduce Perform Annual Water Heater Maintenance Drain and flush the tank once a year (following manufacturer instructions) and while the tank is empty, check the anode rod for corrosion. Corroded anode rods should be replaced to prevent the inside of the tank from corroding. Insulate Your Water Heater Insulating your water heater can improve its efficiency up to 40 percent, saving energy as well as money on your utility bill. Learn how on energy.gov. Ways to Reuse Still Working? Donate It If your unwanted water heater is still in working condition, consider donating it or giving it away.