skip to content

Equipment Sharing


Disposal of equipment

University assets, irrespective of funding source, remain the property the University until sold or destroyed - unless contracts with external sponsors specify otherwise. Heads of Departments are responsible for the sensible disposal of surplus equipment. It should first be offered to other Departments, and only sold externally once it has been determined that the University no longer requires it.

a. Reuse: either in the department or elsewhere in the University

b. Sell: to maximise income

c. Dispose: minimising cost 

Staff must take into consideration all legislative requirements before undertaking any disposal. These include, but are not limited to: the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Regulations and Health and Safety considerations. Equipment which may be contaminated with hazardous substances must be cleaned appropriately before being disposed of and a signed decontamination statement provided (contact the Health & Safety Office). 

When selling the asset externally you should look to maximise any income and therefore the following areas could be considered. (i) Auction (ii) Advertise nationally on the Procureweb Surplus Equipment link on the JPPSG web site. This is particularly useful if the item is a piece of technical research equipment. (iii) Private companies (iv) Employee offers (but safety issues must be considered). 

Fixed Assets Finance Division Version 2.3 December 2016


If selling or wishing to remove or recycle equipment  

Inform Finance and Fixed Assets by submitting an item disposal form:

For local recycling of electrical and electronic waste, please see: 

Use WARPit: a free online tool for exchanging furniture, equipment, and other resources between university departments:

List items on the University’s ‘Science Purchasing’ and ‘All Company’ Yammer platforms to ensure awareness across the University

University Green Scheme is an asset resale service with whom the University has established a longstanding relationship:

Makespace is a community workshop in the heart of Cambridge with additional laboratories on the Addenbrooke’s site that welcomes unused equipment and aims to refurbish and make it available to the local community:  

MakeSpace (Mill Lane) can be contacted via: and BioMakeSpace (Addenbrookes) can be contacted via: 

Science Purchasing Group page:

Key Science Purchasing Contact Members:

If selling, it is recommended that you liaise directly with Finance and Fixed Assets to discuss the intricacies of selling privately.


Selling and Exportation of Controlled Equipment 

Sellers of equipment for exportation are responsible for preparing a commercial/shipping invoice. Export control is different from export clearance, however, and you will need to iron out any export control issues before the goods are passed to the freight forwarder/carrier for export. Before any goods are exported, items should be reviewed to confirm if they are controlled. If so, you may need to obtain an export licence (contact the Export Control Facilitator within the Research Strategy Office;

Once you have the export licence, the export licence number and control classification number for the goods will need to be declared on the commercial invoice. You will need to send a copy of the licence to the freight forwarder so that they can declare the export licence number on the export clearance. This is important as it shows the goods were exported compliantly. It is important that the export licence number is provided to the recipient as they will be liaising with the freight forwarder for the export clearance. The Import Export Hub can help with the commercial invoice and reviewing the export entry in the event it is controlled. 

For further details, please see

Finally, although certain items may not be export controlled, other controls may apply, e.g. sanctions and embargoes, or WMD end user controls. Research Operations have compiled a list here -


You can also consider gifting or donating unwanted but functional equipment or materials to the following international organisations

WarpIt has launched an online Reuse Portal specifically for UK universities and the NHS to bolster the amount of assets sent to African charities, many of which are focussed on medical aid and education. The new Warp It portal will simplify the process for UK universities and NHS Trusts who already, or want to, support charities in Africa. It will also allow them to easily track items and gather metrics, such as the cost and carbon saved, in direct relation to these activities. Further details on how to access this portal are here:


Other equipment recycling services and resources

Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium: (IT equipment recycling specifically) aims to increase reuse and reduce landfill via an Internet-based service where you can give away or ask for things that would otherwise be thrown away.

Alliance Analytical Inc. ( and Certified Genetool ( provide high quality refurbished, cost-effective, scientific equipment to laboratories, research organisations and universities, and also purchase laboratory equipment and cover logistics costs.