2022 Medical School Lab Cleanout

The Medical School remains committed to efficient and effective utilization of lab space for the performance of impactful research and the cost of waste disposal is often a barrier to maintenance of efficient lab space. Given this, the Research Office is pleased to announce the launch of a three-month rolling process that will begin on July 11th and provide resources to clean up our laboratory space. In coordination with our partners in Facilities Management, ReUse, Recycling, and others, hampers and extra bins will be placed in lab areas along with instructions. The focus will be lab equipment (up to one piece of large, freestanding equipment, such as freezers and centrifuges will be included in this effort), electronics, paperwork, old journals, and lab furniture (chairs, tables, desks). Chemicals, radioactive materials, and scintillation counters will not be included in this cleanout effort.
The process will focus on specific buildings in two-week increments and during this time, the Medical School Research Office will cover the cost of waste removal and disposal. These costs will also be covered for later removal if the items were scheduled for disposal during the specifically assigned period, as noted below. Health Sciences planners will walk through the lab space following the cleanout to assess the space.

The timeline is below and may adjust depending on the complexity of the disposal:

July 11 – 22


July 25 – Aug 5


Aug 8 – 19


Aug 22 – Sept 2


Sept 5 – 16


Sept 19 – 30


Oct 3 – 14

•717 Delaware

If a lab is participating in the cleanout efforts, please complete the survey at the following link no later than 2 weeks prior to the start of cleanout for that building. Identify large equipment as well as computers that will be disposed of:
Find Survey Here

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General instructions for lab cleanout

General Instructions

Paperwork and Recycling:
Paper can be recycled through the labeled containers. Secured record disposal bins will also be provided. HIPAA related materials must be disposed of by your department. Please reach out to your administrator with questions.


Place near a room with a room number, label items with the example template, and notify Stephanie Preekett to schedule pickup of Furniture.


Large Equipment:
Ensure all equipment has been decontaminated.

Complete the Capital Equipment Disposal form if necessary.

Compete and attach the Label Template Form to the equipment. 1 piece of Large Equipment will be paid for by the project. The PI must supply a chart string for additional equipment. 

Arrange for pickup by contacting Stephanie Preekett at preekett@umn.edu


Small Equipment:
Small Equipment and Miscellaneous items can all be placed in the hampers located throughout each floor labeled ‘Lab Equipment/ Miscellaneous’ for disposal.


Computers and IT Equipment:
Place computer items in blue bins located near Informational Desks for disposal.


Radioactive Material:
Identify any radioactive materials and work directly with David Paulu (paulu010@umn.edu) on the removal process. Removal of these items will not be paid for by the research office.
If unable to participate during the designated lab cleanout time period, faculty can clean out their labs at any time. Here are the links to the supporting logistical entities:

   Capital Equipment Disposal Procedure
   Capital Equipment Asset Disposal Form
   Managing University Capital Equipment Policy

Items no longer needed can be sold through the ReUse webpage. Instructions can be found here.
Secured record shredding
Reference materials
Guidelines for efficient lab space use with Indiana principals

Contact Information

If you have any questions on the Medical School Lab Cleanout Process, please contact Stephanie Preekett at preekett@umn.edu or Peg Brown at brown489@umn.edu


Frequently Asked Questions

How to dispose of the following items:

Lab glass: Lab glassware is typically made of borosilicate which is not recyclable
due to its high melting temperature, however, we collect (nonhazardous) lab
glassware for ReUse. Please place unbroken glassware in a box marked ReUse
before putting it in the hamper. Broken lab glass is trash. 

Lab plastics: Recyclable materials that are safe to throw in the regular trash can
be collected together in a bag or box and placed in the lab plastic recycling. At
this time, items that have been in contact with hazardous materials either
biological or chemical must not be recycled. Campus recycling is hand sorted by
individual people and their safety is important. If there are any doubts about the
safety of a material, throw it in the appropriate waste stream; biohazardous waste
or collect for Hazardous Waste processing through the Department of
Environmental Health and Safety. Please contact recycle@umn.edu if you have
any questions about the safety of an item for recycling. 

Other office supplies: Miscellaneous items can all go in the hampers labeled
‘Lab Equipment/ Miscellaneous’ for disposal.

Large Equipment:

  1. Ensure all equipment has been decontaminated.
  2. Completed the Capital Equipment Disposal form if necessary.
  3. Compete and attach the Label Template Form to the equipment. 1 piece of Large Equipment will be paid for by the project. The PI must supply a chart string for additional equipment.
  4. Arrange for pickup by contacting Stephanie Preekett at preekett@umn.edu


  1. Ensure all equipment has been decontaminated.
  2. Compete and attach the Label Template Form to the equipment.
  3. Arrange for pickup by contacting Stephanie Preekett at preekett@umn.edu

Is the computer recycling process secure? 
Yes, HST (Health Sciences Technology) will remove the hard drives and erase
the information.

Do I need a tag for each item?
Only large pieces need to be labeled. Materials that will fit in the hampers do not
need labels.

Where do I find the hampers? 
The hampers will be delivered and distributed throughout the building the Friday
before cleanout begins. These bins will be regularly emptied throughout the
cleanout process.

Special note on older equipment:
Please be aware that some older pieces of equipment may have mercury or radioactive
components. Some examples:

  • Old vacuum pumps
  • Incubators or heaters with mercury thermometers 

If you believe you have equipment that falls into this category, please contact Sabine
Fritz (fritz017@umn.edu) for next steps.