Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Compliance protocols MUST be approved and linked in SeRA to a SPO project record prior to award acceptance. 

See ORA's Award Acceptance Resources for additional information.

4.4 Dispositions Requiring Special Handling

Main content start

Policy Contact

Alejandro Perez
Surplus Property Sales

Certain categories of assets require scrutiny beyond the routine PMO review. These categories also require the completion of additional processes that are unique to each group as specified below.

1. Computers/Universal Waste

Many electronic devices are considered universal waste upon disposal. This includes, but not limited to computers, monitors or any equipment containing cathode ray tubes (CRT) or other significant electronic display, or items that contain internal circuitry (heavy metal containing cards and boards) such as cell phones, keyboards, printers, copiers, and many scientific devices.

These items are closely monitored by the University and disposal records may be reported to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Disposal processes and inappropriate disposal of such items may be audited by these agencies at any time. Failure to adhere to appropriate methods of disposal may result in significant fines and other penalties.

Never dispose of such items in dumpsters or trash receptacles. Small electronics that are not recorded in the Sunflower database may be placed in electronic recycling buckets located throughout the campus by the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Locations for buckets may be found on the EH&S Electronic Waste Recycling website.  When cleaning out an office or a lab, coordinate with SPS for disposal of large volumes of small electronics.

Larger electronics will be collected by the Surplus Property Sales (SPS) once an excess request is received. SPS will remove and wipe or crush any hard drives that are in computers collected as excess. They crush all ‘loose’ hard drives being disposed of separately from a computer.

2. Ownership

Ownership is a very important factor in the disposition of property. Stanford must take care to ensure that no property is inadvertently disposed without prior authorization. All non-Stanford owned equipment is required to be recorded in the Sunflower database and ownership noted in the records. Ownership is verified prior to disposition being completed.

Sponsor Owned Equipment

Items furnished to Stanford for sponsored projects require written approval from the sponsor prior to disposition. When property is no longer needed or becomes inoperable, steps should be immediately taken to obtain disposition instructions.

In all cases, documentation and communications with the sponsor should be performed by PMO. This is particularly important if the sponsor is an agency of the federal government, as there are specific federal forms required. The sale of sponsor funded equipment with a current FMV of $5,000.00 or more must also be reviewed by PMO before any sale is contemplated.

If there is urgency in having the property removed from the site, contact PMO to have the property moved to storage while written disposition instructions are sought.

Leased and Loaned Equipment

Items leased or loaned to Stanford by vendors or other entities require written approval prior to disposition unless otherwise stated in the loan or lease document. An acknowledgement of receipt should be obtained from the lending entity when the property is returned. Notify PMO to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to retire the Sunflower record. Barring an extension, property should be returned at the end of the lease or loan period.


Contact your Property Programs Manager (PPM) in the PMO for guidance regarding disposal of equipment purchased on a fellowship agreement. Terms and conditions of a fellowship agreement can vary. It is important to provide your PPM with a copy of the agreement so appropriate guidance can be provided.

3. Refrigerators, Freezers and Other Chilling Devices

Equipment such as freezers, refrigerators, ice makers, some incubators and similar chilling devices contain gases and oils that are considered hazardous waste, and require special disposal processes. The University uses Peninsula Sanitary Service Inc. (PSSI) for these disposals. SPS generally does not accept refrigerators or freezers. To request the disposal of one of these items will require a Customer Funded Work Request available on the Buildings & Grounds Maintenance (BGM) website to pick up and dispose of the item. An excess request in SPARC, including the work request number for PSSI is also required. PMO will forward approval of the disposal to PSSI for the collection to take place. Please allow 2 weeks for the request to be completed.

4. Vehicles

Vehicles require additional processing, and must be delivered to the Fleet Garage for decommissioning and notification to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  The Fleet Garage will determine whether the vehicle is considered roadworthy and eligible for reassignment to another department or sale. If determined not to be roadworthy, the vehicle is to be scrapped. If transferred, PMO will update the accountable department.  If sold, SPS will contact the last accountable department to obtain proceeds directions (if any). If scrapped, PMO will retire the record.  When your department has deemed a vehicle to be excess, contact your PPM to have the record transferred to a holding code, pending determination of the vehicle's final disposal method.

5. Offsite Disposal

There may be situations in which it is necessary to dispose of an item ‘off-site’, whether it is located at a remote site or circumstances make it unfeasible to have the item returned to campus for disposition. Due to the unique circumstances of such an action, these are handled on a case-by-case basis. Contact your PPM for guidance.