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Facilities/Instrumentation - Surplussing Supplies and Equipment to UW SWAP

This document describes the process for surplussing supplies and equipment to UW-Madison's Surplus with a Purpose (SWAP).


  • Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Forest & Wildlife faculty, students, and staff; Hub staff


SWAP (Surplus with a Purpose) allows us to dispose of unneeded equipment and supplies.  In some cases, we may be able to receive some money back.

Obtaining Items from SWAP

UW faculty and staff can purchase items for UW use.  

Note on Computer Equipment

Computers may have hidden issues, such as obsolescence, expensive specialized memory, difficult to find software, and they are usually out of warranty.

Since computers generally have a 3-4 year life span under warranty, if your budget allows, it's generally better to buy electronics new.

Note on Furniture

Desks, filing cabinets and credenzas that lock may not come with keys.  Be prepared to have the item re-keyed.

Sending Surplus Supplies and Equipment to SWAP

The SWAP pile is located in the basement - straight off the elevator, 2nd hallway to the left, far end of hall on left side. 

Adding Items to the SWAP Pile

Please record the items you are leaving here on the list on the bulletin board above the SWAP pile.

For Multiple Items

Box the items and label the box clearly in large print.

Taking Items from the SWAP Pile

If you see something you can use in your lab or office, feel free to take the item.


These items are not for personal use.


Computers should have their hard drive contents wiped before they are added to the SWAP pile.

Contact Russell IT to get this done.

Computer Monitors

Please attach a sticker or take with an MD number.*

The UW Materials Distribution Service will charge the $10 monitor disposal fee to this MD account.


DoIT has an electronics recycling program, but it is only for personally-owned items.

Other Large Items or Furniture

If the item could sell for more than $150, attach an MD number* and that account will receive partial credit after the item(s) sell.

* To determine the appropriate MD number, contact one of the Russell Labs Financial Services staff.  Note that MD numbers associated with many federal grants disallow equipment charges or credits.


SWAP has the *sole* authority for disposal of surplus and abandoned property at the UW-Madison.  



KeywordsSWAP, SWAP pile, surplus, abandoned, equipment, computer, computer monitor, furniture, desk, filing cabinet   Doc ID109930
OwnerTimonthy L.GroupRussell Labs Hub
Created2021-03-26 10:20:22Updated2023-07-12 12:38:33
SitesRussell Labs Hub
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