Lab Equipment Disposal Procedure

Lab equipment must be properly decontaminated before leaving the laboratory for disposal.  Whether the equipment is to be moved by UVM Recycling staff for surplus disposal or it is being relocated and moved by an outside commercial moving company, it must be free of radiological, biological and chemical contamination.

  1. Clean and decontaminate the equipment as appropriate.
  2. Have hazardous components removed, if necessary.
  3. Complete the online Surplus Disposal Form (PDF)  (new fillable form) and save as pdf. 
  4. Login to FAMIS and create a Service Request (SR). Follow the links for Frequently Requested Service > Recycling & Surplus > Surplus Disposal. You can attach a copy of the completed Surplus Disposal form to the online Service request OR email the form to
  5. Tape a duplicate copy of the completed Surplus Disposal Form, with the SR #, on the equipment as well.
  6. Risk Management & Safety must sign off that the equipment is clean and decontaminated prior to disposal through UVM Recycling. Email

NOTE: OFFICE EQUIPMENT that has had no potential exposure to chemical, biological, or radioactive materials need not be cleared  by Risk Management & Safety.

Hazardous Component Removal

All hazardous components must also be removed before lab equipment can be safely disposed of as scrap metal. The manual, equipment schematic diagragm or manufacturer can often tell you if there are hazardous components or not. Hazardous components include the following:

  • Fluorescent or UV lightbulbs
  • Mercury switches
  • Freon, glycols, or other refrigerants,  (Drained liquid must be collected as a lab waste; tag for disposal)
  • Hydraulic oil, vacuum pump oils, etc
  • Capacitors
  • Batteries

Contact UVM Technical Services Program to remove embedded hazardous components from your lab equipment before disposal.

Decontaminate Lab Equipment Before Disposal

  • Equipment that contains a radioactive source or that potentially came in contact with radioactive materials must cleared by UVM Radiation Safety (802-656-2570) prior to disposal.
  • Equipment used with biological materials must be decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant, such as 10% bleach solution or 70% ethanol prior to UVM Recycling staff handing it for disposal. Decontaminate all exposed surfaces (inside and out). Spray and leave disinfectant on for appropriate contact time to kill any contamination.
  • If you are disposing of a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC) that was used with infectious agents, contact to have us assist you with proper decontamination through UVM Technical Services Program (TSP).
  • All other laboratory equipment can be decontaminated with soap and water solution or mild detergent. If your equipment appears too contaminated to perform decontamination safely, contact for guidance.

Electronic Waste Disposal

Protect the safety of UVM employees and the environment by properly handling equipment at the end of its useful life.  While electronic equipment does not need to be "cleared" by Safety staff, E-waste, such as computers, monitors, laptops and similar items, must not be placed with regular trash. 


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