Guidance on Disposal

Why is there guidance on disposals on the purchasing web site?

Whenever a need for a new item is identified, the first and most natural thing to do is to investigate whether the item is already available elsewhere within our own organisation. This avoids the need to purchase a new item and ensures that we are fully utilising items which we already own. A good buyer will always consider all relevant sources of supply, including information on what items are available for re-housing.

Just as we aim to minimise the cost when we acquire goods and services, so we should aim to maximise income when we dispose of goods. It is therefore good practice to ensure that we are sharing information efficiently.

Whenever an item is to be replaced

It is worthwhile when receiving bids for new or replacement items, to include reference to the old equipment. You can then plan your disposals work accordingly.

When you have items for disposal

In accordance with Schedule 4 of Financial Regulations, Heads of Departments are responsible for establishing procedures to ensure that all items of equipment disposed of (including vehicles) are properly authorised, accounted for, and recorded. Disposal of any equipment originally valued at over £10,000 should be notified in writing to Financial Accounts at the Old Schools (see Fixed Asset Procedures, Chapter 16 of Financial Procedures Manual):

Disposal recommendations

The recommended disposal principles are as follows:

Offer Surplus Items for Re-Use

Surplus items may be advertised in a number of ways:

  • Advertise within own location (via e-mail)
  • Procurement Services maintains an e-mail group containing the addresses for the Departmental purchasing co-ordinators. This can be used to send a quick note identifying items for disposal. Contact Procurement Services x32233, email
  • The Science Purchasing Group circulates details of used laboratory goods contact Fern McCall, Secretary, 64328 email,

Trade in

Seek an offer for trade in value from the supplier of the replacement equipment. Compare with offers from groups interested in purchasing the items. (below)

Sell to maximise income (NB safety issues must be considered):

  1. Auction
  2. Advertise Nationally on the Procureweb Surplus Equipment website Xchange ( This is particularly useful if the item is a piece of technical research equipment
  3. Private company
  4. Employee offers,

Selling externally

When selling externally, two separate offers should be obtained if possible. The buyer should be notified in writing that the goods are second-hand and not sold as new, and attention should be drawn to any known defects or hazardous features. Sales invoices should include a statement to the following effect:


  • These goods are second hand. You acknowledge that you have thoroughly inspected the goods and buy accepting any defects
    • apparent on examination or
    • which might reasonably be understood by you as inherent (ie part of the nature of the goods).
  • This Notice does not exclude or limit any liability which may not by law be excluded or limited.
  • We accept full liability for death or personal injury directly caused by our negligence and for fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • Our liability for any other loss or damage is limited to the price you pay us for the goods.
    If you are buying as a business, warranties as to fitness for purpose and satisfactory quality are excluded.”

Dispose (to minimise cost):

  1. Give to an employee who will collect
  2. Give to a charity which collect
  3. Pay for removal and disposal.

Scrapping goods

It may sometimes be preferable to scrap defective goods to prevent them from reaching the market place. Due care should be taken to make safe any hazardous features prior to disposal, and a record should be kept of all items scrapped. A signed decontamination statement should be provided for any equipment that has been in contact with biological or chemical contaminants.

Further guidance on Disposal

General guidance on waste

Care should be taken that any equipment is disposed of in accordance with the Duty of Care requirements of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Further information is available from:

Guidance for the Disposal of Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment

Since 1 st July 2007 most electrical and electronic equipment has needed to be segregated for separate disposal via a specialist recycling contractor to comply with the requirements of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations

Disposal of Redundant IT Equipment

Due to issues surrounding data security, any redundant computers should only be disposed of through the free service administered by the Environmental Office.