Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 20: Property

Contaminated Surplus Property

BPPM 20.77

For more information contact:
   Surplus Stores

Form:  Item Evaluation


University-owned property, especially items used in a laboratory, medical, or shop/industrial environment, may be contaminated by hazardous materials or contain hazardous components. Prior to offering University-owned property to Surplus Stores, departments must evaluate each item for the presence of hazardous components or contamination. Departments must complete and attach an Item Evaluation form to each item suspected of being potentially contaminated or suspected of containing a potentially hazardous component. See Appendix 1: Equipment Requiring Item Evaluation for examples of equipment requiring evaluation. Hazardous contamination may be biological, chemical, or radiological in nature. For definitions, see Appendix 2: Biohazard Contamination, Appendix 3: Chemical Contamination, and Appendix 4: Radioactive Material Contamination respectively. Hazardous components include such items as asbestos-containing materials, batteries, compressed gases, mercury-containing devices, polychlorinated biphenyls, radiation machines and sources, sharp edges, loose drawers, etc. For definitions, see Appendix 5A: Asbestos-Containing Materials.

Managing Hazards

When an item presents a contamination hazard, the department must decontaminate the item before Surplus Stores accepts the item. When an item contains a hazardous component the department must follow the guidance provided in this section for the proper management of the hazard before Surplus Stores accepts the item. Departments must follow the procedures set forth in this policy (20.77) in order to protect Surplus Stores personnel, Facilities Services, Operations Heavy Equipment personnel, and future property owners from accidental contamination, injury, or illness.


Contact Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S); telephone 509-335-3041; or the Radiation Safety Office (RSO); telephone 509-335-8916; for guidance concerning hazardous items containing leaking or damaged components.

Initiating Surplus Collection

To initiate the collection of surplus property, a department completes a Surplus Property Report (see BPPM 20.76). Indicate the item type and whether or not the item may contain hazardous contamination or components under the Potentially Contaminated or Hazardous Items section on the Surplus Property Report.

Prior to Surplus Collection

Departments must observe the following procedures (see below) before requesting Surplus Stores’ collection of any laboratory, medical, or shop/industrial items, including refrigerators and freezers:

  • Evaluate each item for biological, chemical, or radioactive contamination, or hazardous components. Attach a completed Item Evaluation to each item.

    Note: Surplus Stores and Plant Services-Heavy Equipment personnel collect only items which are labeled with a completed Item Evaluation form and have been properly decontaminated as required (see also BPPM 80.48).

  • Review the decontamination procedures in the applicable Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the facility, BioSafety Manual, Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan, Radiation Safety Manual, and the Laboratory Safety Manual.

    When required, decontaminate the item, in accordance with any applicable departmental procedures. See Equipment to be Evaluated and Appendices 2, 3, and 4.

  • When necessary contact EH&S and/or the RSO.
Radioactive Materials

The following definitions apply to radioactive contamination and components:

Radioactive Contamination

Radioactive contamination is defined as the presence of unwanted radioactivity in excess of regulatory release limits on any item or piece of equipment to be surplused.

Radiation Machine (Component)

Any device which is capable of producing ionizing radiation, except those devices with radioactive materials as the only source of radiation.

Internal Radioactive Source (Component)

Any item containing radioactivity in a sealed form.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Departments affix an IRI for $30 per item to nonfunctional refrigerators or freezers to pay the cost of disposal.

Equipment to be Evaluated

See Appendix 1 for examples of equipment which require completion of an Item Evaluation form. This list is not exhaustive. (See the list of appendices below.) See Appendices 2-5H for information regarding the types of potential contamination and recommended decontamination procedures, and potentially hazardous components which may be present in items to be surplused.

  • Appendix 2: Biohazard contamination and decontamination procedures
  • Appendix 3: Chemical contamination and decontamination procedures
  • Appendix 4: Radioactive material contamination and decontamination procedures
  • Appendix 5: Hazardous Components Overview
    • Appendix 5A: Asbestos-containing material-removal and disposal procedures
    • Appendix 5B: Batteries and recycling procedures
    • Appendix 5C: Compressed gases-handling and release procedures
    • Appendix 5D: Lasers-handling, transfer, and sale procedures
    • Appendix 5E: Mercury-containing devices-handling and spill procedures
    • Appendix 5F: PCB-containing materials-handling, and spill procedures
    • Appendix 5G: Radiation machines and radiation sources-handling and clearance procedures
    • Appendix 5H: Other known or recognized hazards

Revisions:  Dec. 2007 – new policy (Rev. 312)