Need to Surplus Old Lab Equipment? Trust the Process! (And EHS)

June 26, 2018

A few years ago, an old centrifuge came into a repair shop with no information about its history.

The only clue the machinist had was some sticker residue that indicated it might have been from a lab that used radioactive materials. 

“I surveyed it and it turned out not to have been used for radioactive materials—but it could have been,” Steve Elwood, Associate Director of Laboratory and Radiation Safety, recalls. “That’s when we decided we needed a clear process for clearance of surplus equipment.”

Dealing with old equipment is one of the biggest challenges when shutting down or upgrading a laboratory. Once the “all clear” has been given by EHS, university surplus (recently renamed Resource Recovery) can accept equipment for storage and reuse by other departments. 

Great! you may say, but:

  • What can be surplused, and what needs to be discarded or recycled?
  • How should equipment be cleaned for re-use?
  • What is the lab equipment surplus process?

Answers to these questions and more are found on the EHS website at our Surplus and Resource Recovery page.

“Our role is not to necessarily decontaminate things,” Elwood stresses. “We are looking to make sure labs have done what is required and streamline acceptance by Resource Recovery so that the entire process can go smoothly.”