University Surplus Program
Reduce, REUSE, Recycle
In an effort to be good stewards of University resources, quality surplus materials, equipment, and furniture are REUSED on campus whenever possible. What’s no longer needed in one department often finds a home in another. And, if the surplus can’t be used on campus, the University makes it available for purchase by employees and the public, or coordinates the donation to a charity. The Surplus Program and the Surplus Warehouse, where items are stored, are administered and managed by Building Services.
What about Broken Equipment?
Yes, send your broken equipment to the surplus program. Surplus will correctly handle the disposal of broken items and items that must be scrapped or discarded due to federal and state regulations.
What can I expect to find in Surplus?
The inventory in surplus obviously changes all the time, but you can often find file cabinets, chairs, desks, whiteboards and various tables.
The Princeton University Surplus Warehouse is located at 755 Alexander Road, Door 4, in Princeton Junction, NJ, 08550. Departments, employees, and the general public can visit the surplus warehouse to view and purchase surplus items during open hours. As of May 1, 2013 MasterCard and Visa will be the only accepted forms of payment.
- Open to departments, employees, students, and donations
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- Open to the general public, departments, employees, students and donations
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Please note: individuals who purchase items must take them the same day, as surplus will not hold items for personal purchase. Checks should be made payable to The Trustees of Princeton University.
Access the Online Surplus System to:
- View Surplus Items for University Use:
To see if the surplus program has something you can use within your department, go to the Online Surplus System. Directions for reserving items, pick-up and delivery are contained here.
- View Surplus Items Available to the Public:
To view items available to the public go to the public access online surplus system. These items may not be reserved and directions for pickup are contained here
- Enter Items for Surplus (Surplus Coordinators Only)
Surplus Coordinators use the Online Surplus System to enter items for surplus. For policies and details see What to Do With Unused University Property, Surplus Processing and Types of Surplus.
Questions regarding the Surplus Program may be directed to the Building Services Surplus Program Coordinator at email@example.com.
Surplus Program Policies
What to do With Unused University Property
- Items departments no longer use must be turned over to the surplus program so that University capital asset records can be updated and the item or items can be redistributed to other departments, sold, donated, or recycled.
- University property may not be removed from the campus for personal use, re-sale, or other unofficial use unless processed through the purchasing department. This includes discarded items, equipment or supplies in use by departments or by students, tenants, or visitors. Do not remove items from dumpsters, garbage cans, or any other disposal location for personal use or sale. This is against the University’s Facilities Policy.
Types of Surplus
- Computer/Electronic Equipment
Computer or electronic equipment that a department does not use, does not intend to use or is no longer working. Computer equipment would include: desktop computers, laptops, tablets, ipads, printers, monitors, scanners, fax machines, and projectors. Electronic equipment would include: televisions, cameras, stereo equipment, dvd and vcr players, studio equipment, microwaves, telephones and cell phones.
Stand-alone units and accessories such as, chairs, filing cabinets, one-piece metal bookcases, tables, returns for desk, that have no immediate use within the department.
- Household & Commercial Appliances
Refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers, free standing stoves, DFS commercial appliances. Note: Freon must be removed from refrigerators and freezers at the department's expense prior to submission to the warehouse. Request freon removal by contacting the Facilities Service Center.
- Low-Value Goods
Goods that have very little or no value such as firewood, scrap lumber, old plants, pallets, and wood packaging.
- Mainframes, Supercomputers, & Other Non-administrative Computing Equipment
This type of surplus may require time and administrative commitments by the central surplus manager and the department representative. Any benefit realized will be pro-rated between the two.
- Maintenance & Shop Equipment
Vacuum cleaners, floor buffers, fire extinguishers, lawn mowers and mower decks, snow plows, blowers and blades, leaf catchers, table saws, drill presses, lathes, auto repair equipment, floor jacks, welders, ladders and other aerial equipment.
In compliance with New Jersey State Department of Health regulations, the University does not sell or donate used mattresses. For more information, contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. University owned mattresses only are accepted by the surplus warehouse for recycling the materials. Personal mattresses are never accepted.
- Raw Materials
Raw material surplus is any item described below which your department has not used during the last three months or less and does not expect to use in the next six months. It does not include materials already covered under University recycling programs in effect
- Scientific Equipment
This includes specialized office equipment that is not computer related, such as fax machines, adding machines, typewriters, and answering machines.
- Scrap Metals
Goods with minimal value from material content but can be sold or disposed of for money, such as copper, brass, steel, lead, and mixed metals. See more about scrap materials below.
- Small tools
Hand held power or manual tools.
- Used/Salvaged Property
Second-life items no longer of use to Princeton University but may be of use to others. Included are light and plumbing fixtures, shelving, used lumber, excess paint, and cabinets that are not free-standing (unless they have value only for the material). For items that are almost new or have significant reuse value, or possible historical value, the departmental representative should call their facilities representative. Facilities will determine if the item should be retained. If not, the departmental representative may dispose of the item following the guidelines for low value goods.
Automobiles, trucks, golf carts, boats, tractors, buses, vans, construction equipment used by the University, but no longer needed or suitable.
Each department, administrative or academic, must designate a surplus contact person or persons. For low value goods and furniture we recommend one contact person and another for electronic and technical equipment. For example, in an academic department it could be the department manager, in an administrative department, another person might be assigned by the department head. This individual is responsible for generating information about department surplus and forwarding it to the central surplus coordinator in Building Services. Contact your department manager to find out the designated suplus contact for your department.
To notify central surplus of an item your department would like to surplus, the surplus contact person enters the information into the Online Surplus System. Submitting the information online updates the current surplus inventory and database. Only the surplus contact person has permissions to enter items into the online system.
To be added as a surplus contact person in your department please contact the Surplus System.
Once you enter an item into the surplus system, the surplus program will take possession of the item(s) and will be responsible for advertising, display, pickup, and ultimate disposal. The surplus item(s) will be transferred out of your department as soon as arrangements can be made with Building Services.
Building Services will not pick up items that are not submitted into the central surplus system. Surplus items must be submitted using a surplus form found on the Online Surplus System, do not request Building Services moving services.
Items in Central Surplus
Departments do not receive funds once they have relinquished ownership to the surplus program. Items submitted to surplus are available to other University departments at no cost.
Seek Surplus Before Purchasing New Furniture & Equipment
Review items available in the surplus system before purchasing new equipment such as furniture. Listings may also contain a cost to refurbish items. For example, if your department needs file cabinets and finds suitable cabinets in surplus, but they are the wrong color, then the cabinets may be repainted for the department and the department will give the surplus program coordinator an account number for these charges.
Federally funded contracts/grants require recipients to consider available surplus before acquiring new equipment.
Surplus items are available to Princeton departments first, but all University employees and students can access to the list of surplus products through the online surplus system. Items are available for individual purchase after they have been listed for five days and will continue to be eligible for individual purchase for one month.
- Vehicles are excluded from individual purchase due to potential liability.
- Items will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Items will not be held for individuals.
- Departments may still request an item if it is still available in the individual purchase area
- All items in the surplus system will be available "AS IS." Equipment and items transferred, sold, traded-in, given or otherwise disposed of carry no warranty from the University. The University accepts no liability and all transactions are as is and final with no returns.
Charities interested in acquiring surplus equipment must be approved by Community and State Affairs, (609) 258-3204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The charitable organization is responsible for the prompt pickup of items when they become available.
Other Disposal Methods
Other disposal methods include employee flea market, bulk sale, trade-ins, or sale for scrap value. Normally, no single item stays in the surplus system for more than four months.
How to Obtain Equipment from the Surplus Program
Departments, employees, and the general public can visit the surplus warehouse or use the Online Surplus System to view available items. The Princeton University Surplus Warehouse is located at 755 Alexander Road, Door 4, in Princeton Junction, NJ, 08550.
The warehouse is open on Wednesday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for departments, employees, students and donations, and opens again for departments, employees, students and donations as well to the general public, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Individuals who purchase items must take them the same day, as surplus will not hold items for personal purchase. Checks should be made payable to The Trustees of Princeton University.
Unless there are compelling reasons, University employees are not permitted to purchase their old computers. The main reason is a concern about confidential, high risk data and other software programs that may be on the computers. All computers released by campus departments must pass through a standard disk wiping process before they can be sold, donated, or disposed of through the surplus program. If an employee wants to purchase a computer, he or she may purchase it from the surplus program after the appropriate disk wiping process has been completed.
Temporary Storage Availability
Occasionally a department will have need for temporary storage space for equipment or furniture they will need in the near future. The purchasing department will provide current storage rates, for contracts in place with outside suppliers. Any movement of furniture or equipment must be reported to the surplus program coordinator so that the location of the item can be properly recorded in the University’s capital asset system.
Sales or Trade-ins to Outside Suppliers & Companies
Surplus items can be sold to companies and suppliers outside the University or used as trade-ins. These sales or trade-ins must be approved by the surplus program coordinator. All sales or transfers must be documented with the Release and Waiver and Bill of Sale forms, which should clearly indicate the conditions of the transfer, and copies must be submitted to the surplus coordinator.
Items Used by Professors & in Research
Professors Retiring from Princeton University Who Wish to Purchase Their Computers
Faculty members are permitted to purchase their computers or laptops upon retirement or at the end of their employment at Princeton University. In order to safeguard the University’s data, the following steps must be taken:
- The department manager must notify the surplus coordinator that a professor is retiring and wants to purchase their computer or laptop, and provide the make, model, and specifications of the unit.
- The surplus program coordinator will supply the department manager with the sale price (including 7% sales tax), a bill of sale, and a waiver for signature of the faculty member.
- If the sale price is agreed upon, the department or faculty member will be responsible to wipe the unit and arrange delivery of the unit to surplus for confirmation that the unit has been sufficiently wiped prior to the sale being completed to remove any operating software and proprietary data.
- Upon confirmation that the wiping process has been completed, the department or faculty member will be responsible for picking up the unit in surplus and providing the completed paperwork, including payment, to the surplus program coordinator.
If the data is unique to the faculty member’s research or work, a sale can be made with the stipulation that the department manager acknowledge the fact the data will be remaining with the unit and consequently will not jeopardize Princeton University. An e-mail sent from the department manager to email@example.com must be received in order to confirm this stipulation.
When Professors/Researchers Leave the University & Want to Take Equipment with Them
Purchasing and ORPA work together to establish a fair market value for equipment leaving the University with departing faculty and to ensure that the transfer takes place in accordance with sponsored projects and grants. Faculty who are not taking research grants with them to another institution may still purchase equipment bought on grants, or with University startup funds, when leaving the University, provided that both the Department and ORPA approve the request in advance.
Equipment Purchased on Sponsored Research Grants
ORPA must submit a final property report to the sponsor. If the sponsor doesn’t respond within three months, Princeton has title to the items. On certain grants the government will declare that the equipment is government-owned at the start of the project. In these cases the equipment cannot be sold. For equipment purchased with government funds, ORPA must confirm that the University has title, or if any special conditions apply to the disposal or sale of the equipment before it can be entered into the central surplus system or disposed.
Equipment Purchased on Sponsored Research Contracts
The sponsor has 12 months to notify Princeton that they want title to the equipment. After this point the equipment becomes property of the University. ORPA must confirm that the University has title to equipment purchased with non-government sponsored research funds before it can be entered into the central surplus system or disposed.
Departments don’t receive funds for the sale or disposition of scrap materials. The cost of transferring, storing, and completing the paperwork for raw, scrap materials often outweighs the economic benefit to the University. Follow these guidelines to dispose of scrap materials.
- Low value goods: Departmental representatives have the authority to sell to an employee, low value raw materials with fair market value less than $100. These goods will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
- Scrap Metal: Facilities will make several sites available on campus for the disposal of scrap metal. Departments are responsible for taking the scrap to the site. For large amounts -- 50 pounds or greater -- the departmental representative should call the Facilities Service Center to arrange for pickup.
- Locations for Scrap Metal Sites: MacMillan Building: Electrical, Plumbing, and Roofing Shops; Special Facilities: Frick, Jadwin Physics, Moffet, and Forrestal Shop.
If significant quantities are involved, upon request to our service center, the Facilities will pick up high value scrap from customer locations. In both cases, proceeds from the scrap sales will go to the Department of Grounds and Building Maintenance. Further questions concerning scrap metal should be directed to Charles Krank (Grounds and Building Maintenance) at (609) 258-5299.