Material Acceptance Guidelines

SWAP accepts most reusable, repairable or salvageable surplus property from UW-Madison, Wisconsin State Agencies and municipalities.  Acceptable material includes non-hazardous lab equipment and supplies, salable furniture in good condition, office supplies, maintenance equipment and household supplies.

SWAP accepts all computers and computer peripherals regardless of condition but all other property must be in salable condition.

With the exception of appliances, most non-functioning lab equipment can be accepted and re-purposed as parts or repair devices.

The list below is a guide to what SWAP  will NOT accept for redistribution or recycling.  If you have questions about whether your surplus property is suitable for redistribution, please contact SWAP for assistance.

Items NOT Accepted by SWAP

  • Appliances that are inoperable or in poor condition

    SWAP only accepts refrigerators and freezers that are clean, modern, and completely functional.  Sub-zero freezers must be able to reach and maintain the temperature it was designed for.  SWAP does not accept microwaves.

    Old, dirty, and/or non-functioning appliances and microwaves may be picked up for removal by contacting Physical Plant Customer Service at (608)263-3333 to submit a pick-up request.

    See Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page for more information

  • Asbestos-containing equipment

    SWAP does not accept equipment or supplies containing asbestos.  Departments should closely inspect older equipment, especially older lab ovens, for asbestos prior to submitting a Surplus Request Form.

    For information on how to dispose of asbestos-containing equipment, please contact Chris Heidel or Brian Higby.

  • Barrels - metal or plastic

    SWAP no longer accepts 35 or 50 gallon plastic barrels.  Barrels should be thoroughly rinsed, have their labels removed or defaced, and disposed of on campus

  • Batteries that have been removed from equipment

    SWAP accepts batteries that are currently installed in equipment (laptops, UPS devices, forklifts, etc.).  Individual batters are considered Universal Waste and should be disposed of on-site.

    See Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page for more information

  • Biological Safety Cabinets

    SWAP does not accept biological safety cabinets, fume hoods, or glove boxes.

    Contact the Office of Biological Safety for disposal instructions.

  • Chemicals - including powders and aerosol cans

    SWAP does not accept opened containers of liquids or powders.  SWAP does not accept used aerosol cans.  Chemicals in new containers may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

    Contact SWAP to see if your new containers of chemicals are suitable for repurposing.  If not, see Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page for disposal instructions.

  • Gas Cylinders

    SWAP does not accept gas cylinders.

    See Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page for more information

  • Light Bulbs

    SWAP accepts bulbs that are currently installed in furniture or lamps.  Used bulbs, including fluorescent bulbs and digital projector bulbs, are considered Universal Waste and should be disposed of through EHS.

    Exceptions for new, in-the-box fluorescent and LED bulbs may be made on a case-by-case basis.  Contact SWAP for more information.

    For more information about the disposal of used bulbs, see Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page.

  • Furniture that is broken, dismantled, or in poor condition

    SWAP does not accept furniture that is broken, in poor condition, or dismantled.  SWAP does not accept modular or system furniture components.  These items should be disposed of on-site.

  • Handling Hazards - "Sharps" and large, heavy, or cumbersome equipment

    SWAP does not accept sharps hazards, including needles, scalpels or items with broken glass.  See the EHS Sharps Disposal page for more information.

    SWAP does not pick up material that may pose a hazard to personnel or equipment such as plate glass or extremely large, heavy, or cumbersome furniture or equipment.

  • Laboratory Equipment that was exposed to hazards and is un-sanitized

    SWAP accepts all functional non-hazardous lab equipment.  Non-functioning lab equipment may be accepted for re-purposing as parts or repair devices.  Lab freezers will only be accepted if they are clean, modern, and completely functional.

    Equipment exposed to chemical, biological or radiological hazards with intact safety warning labels must be cleared by Safety prior to disposal through SWAP.  See Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page for more information.

  • Lasers - individual lasers with exposed beam

    SWAP does not accept individual lasers at the SWAP facility and they cannot be sold to the public.  SWAP can assist in marketing individual lasers to other UW-Madison departments for re-purposing them internally.  Contact SWAP for more information.

  • Law Enforcement - Restricted Items

    Some items restricted to use by law enforcement departments or agencies only may be unsuitable for redistribution through SWAP.  Please contact SWAP at swap@bussvc.wisc.edu PRIOR to submitting a Surplus Request Form to see if SWAP can accept your restricted law enforcement equipment or supplies.

  • Light Fixtures

    SWAP does not generally accept light fixtures designed to be hard-wired.  Exceptions may be made for unique fixtures, wall sconces, and light fixture that are new-in-package.  Contact SWAP to see if your light fixtures can be accepted.

  • Mercury-Containing Equipment

    SWAP does not accept mercury or equipment that contains mercury.

    See Environment, Health & Safety’s Recyclopedia Page for more information

  • Packaging Material - Styrofoam containers, freezer packs, and dirty packing peanuts

    SWAP accepts most wood shipping crates and clean packing peanuts.

    SWAP does not accept Styrofoam containers, freezer packs, or packing peanuts that have been exposed to potentially-hazardous material.

  • Mixed Media - CDs, data tapes, floppy disks, VHS tapes, etc.

    SWAP does not accept paper documents or large quantities of Mixed Media (CDs, data tapes, floppy disks, VHS tapes, etc.).  Contact SWAP for more information.

  • Weapons or any property designed to inflict physical damage

    SWAP does not accept weapons or any property designed to inflict physical damage.

  • X-Ray Equipment

    SWAP does not accept or re-purpose x-ray equipment or supplies.

Recycling Service Fees

A Recycling Service Fee will be charged for the handling and disposal of the following items:

  • LCD and CRT Monitors
  • Copiers and Printers over 50 lbs.
  • Televisions
  • Freon-containing appliances
  • Microwaves