Stanford University

Donating Surplus Chemicals

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Last updated: April 18, 2023


EH&S maintains an inventory of surplus chemicals that are available to the Stanford research community, free of charge. The Surplus Chemical Program is an integral part of the University’s waste minimization efforts. The program helps researchers reduce the volume of chemicals that are disposed of as waste. The result is both cost-saving and environmentally beneficial.

Laboratories may donate chemicals that they no longer want or need to EH&S. This does not include waste mixtures or other chemical wastes.

Instructions for Donating Chemicals

  1. Determine which materials you would like to donate. Acceptable materials are opened or unopened chemicals in the original manufacturer’s container, with the original label in readable condition. EH&S does not accept mixtures, samples, or old/degraded chemicals into the program. Consider whether you would be willing to accept the materials that you would like to donate.
  2. Affix a surplus sticker to each container. Do not obscure the manufacturer’s label. Surplus stickers can be ordered through our Safety Store.
  3. Complete and submit an online form. Once picked up, EH&S staff will evaluate items labeled as surplus for inclusion in the program.
  4. Keep chemicals properly segregated. Do not combine items in boxes or trays, unless all materials are compatible, (see Compatible Storage Groups).
  5. Items will be picked up from your lab within two weeks. Upon pickup, remove the items from your inventory.

If you have any questions, email

For information on how to obtain surplus chemicals, see the Obtaining Surplus Chemicals service.

Participant testimonials:

“I have been using Stanford’s Surplus Chemical Program for almost two years, and I found it an extremely valuable resource for researchers working in the biological lab. It not only permits saving costs for commonly used, day-to-day lab chemicals, it also contributes to reduce wastage of resources. As a staff member of a shared facility I found their website easy to navigate and their personnel, Heather in particular, always happy to give a hand. Thanks for supporting the Surplus Chemical Program!”
~Daniel Fernandez, Li Lab, ChEM-H Institute

“As a graduate student, the Surplus Program has provided me with many free and new chemicals over the past five years. This program has saved our lab hundreds of dollars while cutting down on chemical waste. I think the surplus program is a great way to reduce the number of chemicals that would otherwise go to waste at Stanford.”
~Chemistry graduate student, Karunadasa Lab

“The Surplus Chemical Program is convenient and helps us save research expenses. The chemical inventory is well organized and the process of request and delivery is easy and quick. We also obtain the Surplus Chemicals when the items we purchase are in need but back ordered. We are happy with the quality of items we obtained.”
~ Euna Yoo, Postdoctoral Scholar, Pathology

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