How to Sell, Dispose of, or Trade In an Item or Piece of Equipment

Purchasing Services has the sole authority for disposal of surplus and abandoned property at UW–Madison (other than titled and licensed vehicles which are handled by the Department of Administration – refer to UW Policy 3056). When possible all surplus property sales are conducted at the SWAP (Surplus with a Purpose) Warehouse, located at 1061 Thousand Oaks Trail, Verona, Wisconsin.

Sales and disposal of surplus items

For most items, the process begins by contacting SWAP via the completion of a Surplus Property Pick-Up Request Form. SWAP collects all reusable, repairable, or salvageable surplus equipment from the UW–Madison campus and state agencies in the Madison area, but will NOT collect items which are unsafe to handle or intended for recycling or disposal by another State department. Please consult the guide below for more information and contact SWAP if you are unsure whether or not they are able to collect your materials. Depending on the value and type of items received, SWAP may choose to list items in their inventory and/or an online auction. Profits from the sales will be returned to departments according to the current SWAP revenue sharing rate (PDF).

 Items Collected by SWAP

  • All computer equipment, regardless of condition or age
  • Computer monitors ($7 each charge)
  • Televisions ($10 each charge)
  • Freon-containing equipment – refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners ($10 each charge)
  • Functional office supplies (please sort)
  • Copiers and large printers ($.20 per lb if over 50 lbs and unsalable)
  • Complete and functional office furniture (e.g., desks, chairs)
  • Clean, reusable labware
  • Non-hazardous lab equipment
  • Books
  • Tools and hardware
  • Electrical equipment, including motors regardless of condition
  • Appliances regardless of condition

 Items NOT Accepted by SWAP

Contact SWAP for alternative disposal options.

  • Liquids, powders, or aerosol sprays of any kind
  • Mercury-containing equipment
  • Asbestos-containing equipment or material
  • Dismantled modular workstations
  • Incomplete or broken furniture (desks with missing drawers, broken chairs, etc.)
  • Mattresses
  • Sharp hazards as defined by Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) (e.g., needles, broken glass)
  • Contaminated lab ware and equipment with radioactive sources
  • Plate glass (handling hazard)
  • Dismantled shelving
  • Paints, paint removers
  • Light fixtures and fluorescent bulbs

For information on the disposal of hazardous materials or animals (live or dead), please see the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) website or call (608) 262-5000.

Trading in an item

For items which will be associated with a formal bidding process, trade in language can be added to the bid as a part of the package. Alternately, SWAP may provide a better return on your investment by offering the item for sale to a targeted audience. If you are interested in trading in a piece of equipment, please contact the purchasing agent responsible for that commodity area to discuss the trade and determine if it will offer the best value for your items. University departments are NOT authorized to trade in or dispose of state property to persons or organizations outside UW- Madison without Purchasing Services approval.

For more information

See UW Policy 3057 (Disposal of Surplus University Property), contact SWAP, or contact the purchasing agent responsible for the items you are interested in disposing of or trading in.