Answer: Recycling is great. A lot of older pianos are made with quality materials that could be used for other things. If disposing of the piano, consider finding someone who will recycle it or reuse the parts.
But to address the notion of just offering it for $100 on craigslist, that is really not a good idea. Chances are, someone will buy it with the noble (but uneducated and misguided) idea that they will be able to somehow get it tuned and fixed up for a few bucks, and their children will have a great instrument to take lessons on. Most pianos being given away for free, or sold at very low prices, actually have negative value, due to the very high cost of repairing or rebuilding the piano. The buyer usually doesn't discover this until the piano technician comes to tune it and has to break the bad news that it's not serviceable.
If the piano has reached the end of its life, please don't make it someone else's problem by selling it on craigslist. If you are not willing to pay to have it properly restored or repaired, the responsible thing to do is to dispose of it. Dozens of times each year I show up to someone's home to service a piano they got for little or no money. They are so proud of the fact they only paid $100 for it (which means they really paid more like $250 because they had to move it to their home). Often it hasn't been serviced decades, and it cannot be tuned because the strings are rusted to where they cannot be brought back up to pitch, or the pinblock is cracked to where the pins will not stay put. Many times, the action is just shot and there are so many problems that the only cure is a complete restoration costing many thousands of dollars. If the piano is shot, you are also not doing anyone a favor by donating it. I've had to visit many churches or schools that received a donated piano, and it becomes a burden and expense for the church to dispose of it after I evaluate the condition and give them the bad news. Churches and schools need pianos that are fully functional and can stand up to heavy use in an environment has much larger swings in temperature and humidity than the average home. They need solid instruments, and donating junk pianos to them is actually a disservice. Giving something to a church is great, but give something of value if you are going to do it.
One final note to piano buyers: If you are going to buy a cheap piano, or even take one for free, spend the money to have it evaluated by a Registered Piano Technician before you go through the cost and headache of relocating it to your home. Find out what the piano's issues are. Usually, a free piano is free for a reason, and typically it's because the cost to return it to decent playing condition is more than it would cost to buy a used piano that is fully functional.
A lot of pianos built in the early part of the 20th century were wonderful instruments, and would be again if properly restored. Unfortunately, few people are willing to spend the money to restore them because the restored piano will not be worth as much as the restoration cost. The demand just isn't there, so the resale value is poor for most old pianos. I hate to see a once-great piano go to the landfill. But if you can't restore it or find a rebuilder who wants to take it from you for the purpose of restoring it, disposal is the right thing to do, and recycling is the better way to dispose of it if you can make the effort.
Re-Published From: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-way-to-dispose-of-a-piano