Health and Safety      College of Science and Engineering (COSE)

Image: Pictures representing the depts of the College of Science and Engineering



Donations of Chemicals

The COSE does not encourage the acceptance of chemical donations from outside companies. Our experience with donations in the past is mixed and has often proved to cost the campus money and staff time. Companies often want to donate their unwanted chemical materials as an inexpensive way of disposing of them while also transferring the long-term liability for disposal to us. These "donations" are rarely worthwhile and must be carefully considered.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What will you actually use in the near future?
  • Where are you going to put it?
  • Do you need that much of it?
  • Is it close to the expiration date?


Donations of Used Equipment

Equipment donations can also be problematic and we have to choose what we accept carefully. Often equipment donations include equipment that may need extensive and expensive repairs or cleaning. Even if the equipment is in good condition, if the accepting lab or department has no room for it, it ends up in a storage room gathering dust. Storage space is at a premium and in the end, the College often has to spend money disposing of the equipment.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Will you use it within the year?
  • Where will you put it?
  • Is it in usable condition now?


Guidelines for Accepting Donations


Often, a "lot" of chemicals or equipment is accepted, with only a small percentage of items actually wanted by the recipient. The rest tends to take up space and eventually the campus has to dispose of the materials. It is not a good deal if we don't use it and don't have room for it.

Important: Do not accept "lots" of equipment, materials, or chemicals. If you cannot pick and choose what you need, pass on the donation.

Before accepting chemical donations, please contact the COSE Health and Safety Office for review. We want to make sure chemicals are unopened, not near their expiration date, and that each one is needed by the accepting lab in the quantity being donated. Do not accept an entire "lot" of chemicals when you only need a subset of them for your research.


Only accept donations of chemicals, equipment, or materials if you can answer YES to the following statements:

  • You need each and every item in the quantity being donated.
  • The equipment size or capacity is what you need.
  • You have room for it.
  • You have the funds to get it ready for use i.e., calibrations, repairs, setup, etc..
  • You are going to be using it soon. (Within the next 3 months? 6 months?)
  • You have the right freezer, power outlet, safety equipment, etc. necessary to use or store it.
  • You have consulted with Stockroom Staff about space and storage considerations.
  • You have discussed the donation of chemicals with COSE Health and Safety staff.




SF State Home