Equipment Disposals


The University must dispose of all property (equipment, material, and supplies) through its established disposal procedures.  Federal or agency property cannot be disposed, cannibalized, transferred, or removed without prior written approval from the funding agency or private entity.  As described by WAC 236-48-198, University-titled equipment may not be sold to employees, principal investigators, or to the public unless all disposal requirements have been met and the sale is processed by the Surplus Property Office.  Property should not sit idle for lengthy periods of time.  Where appropriate, items no longer required should be disposed of in a timely and appropriate manner.


Equipment Disposal - Equipment Disposal refers to both physically removing properties from a department and to the removing of the item from a department's active inventory, relieving the department of accountability for reporting and tracking. The terms disposal and surplus are often used interchangeably.

NOTE:  When buildings are demolished or alterations made, there are usually some materials which are salvageable.  Normally, under the terms of the contract, salvageable material becomes the property of the contractor.  The contractor is responsible for removing this materially physically from the University campus and may then dispose of it as he or she sees fit.  This removal requirement ensures that University employees will not remove such materials from the campus and thus appear to be taking University materials for their own personal use.

For information about the sale of property, or if you need to dispose of equipment that is located off-site or out of the country you need to obtain approval from Teresa Seyfried at Surplus Property. She can be contacted at 206-685-1573 or

Departmental Benefits of Timely Disposal

Departments benefit from timely and proper disposal of excess property because:

  • Timely disposal makes property available to the entire campus.
  • You may be able to reduce costs by using another department's idle equipment.
  • Disposal of excess equipment reduces the time needed to locate unused equipment during required inventories.
  • You are prepared for any audit.
  • You may lose federal funding if your department is not in compliance.

Legal Reasons for Timely Disposal

State:  State law requires State/University property should not sit idle for lengthy periods of time.  In a timely and appropriate manner, departments should dispose of items they no longer need.

Federal:  It is a contractual commitment that federally owned equipment be in active use while in custody of a campus department, and that disposal action be taken in a timely manner if it is not.

Appropriate Disposal Methods 

Detailed procedures of each method can be found at each of the links below.

Inappropriate Disposals Methods

  • Throwing equipment and materials in the trash.
  • Putting equipment in the hall under a sign saying "Free".
  • Taking home equipment, materials, supplies, or unusable parts for personal use.
  • Donating equipment without appropriate approval.

Lost/Stolen Equipment

  • Lost Equipment - Remove equipment from your department's records if you are unable to locate it after applying a good faith effort. This usually occurs during a physical inventory.  If the item is later found, Equipment Inventory can re-activate the item in the database.  The Property Activity Request - Form 1024 should be used to report an item as lost.
    • NOTE:  If EIO notices that a department has reported an unusually large amount of equipment as lost, Internal Audit will be notified. 
  • Stolen Equipment - Remove equipment from your department's records if it was taken from the University without permission.  It is also important that you file a police report. The Property Activity Request - Form 1024 should be used to report an item as stolen.  This form should not be approved by the stolen equipment's custodian.

Disposal of Equipment on Federal Awards

Please visit the Post Award Fiscal Compliance page for more information on this.

Disposals With An Unidentifiable Federal Sponsor

This usually happens with awards that are quite old and have been closed for a period longer than our records retention period. On some very old awards where equipment was purchased with a Federal or Agency title, we may or may not be able to identify who the sponsor is.

The following steps are taken to attempt to determine a sponsor contact. EIO will document that this process was followed for each asset:

  1. Check the following for any information regarding the original sponsor: Sera, Grant Tracker, OSP Status and check with Research Central to see if it’s still at records center.
  2. Check Equipment Inventory’s Closeout records.
  3. If sponsor is identified, we would contact the sponsor and request permission to dispose of the equipment.
  4. If none of the above produce a clear record of who should be contact for disposal requests, the Department would be contacted to see if they have any information on the sponsor.
  5. After all avenues have been exhausted, the information is forwarded to the Assistant Director of EIO for review. If approved, the Equipment Inventory Office would then issue a surplus disposal authorization to the Department.


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