Feature Stories


Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, March 2016


Bio-Link Depot: Giving New Life to UCSF’s Lab Equipment

On the path to zero waste, UCSF has partnered with the Bio-Link Depot, whose mission is to give unneeded lab supplies and equipment a new life at middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities.

The program helps UCSF give new life to lab equipment that might otherwise end up in the landfill or be recycled as e-waste.  Last year UCSF (Mission, Parnassus, Laurel Heights) donated over $225,000 worth of supplies with over 40 pickups and visits to six e-waste events. 

At bi-monthly open houses, items collected from the local biotech industry, including UCSF labs, are organized and displayed to make it easy for educators to find the items they need to support their science curriculum.

The program has been running for six years, serving 193 schools, the majority here in the Bay Area. According to Daniel Michael, Depot coordinator, at the most recent open house in January, items worth $126,000 were given away to 57 institutions, reaching 10,000 students.  Each year, thousands of students are touched by the program, which gives away about $.5 million-worth of items per year.

Have Stuff?  Call UCSF Coordinator to Arrange a Pick-Up

If you are doing some spring-cleaning in your lab, Bio-Link Depot will pick up your unwanted equipment that can live on at a local school or even a community college.  From incubators, printers, centrifuges to chairs and glassware, Bio-Link is a resource for collecting items from UCSF labs.

Below is a partial list of the types of equipment and supplies that the Depot can accept:

  • Consumables: The Depot can accept consumables such as pipette tips, filtration products, microplates, microscope slides, specialty glass, plastic bottles/vials and many other items.
  • Equipment: The Depot can accept equipment such as hot plates, stirring motors, centrifuges, microscopes, shakers, water baths, vortexes, power supplies, pipettors, biosafety cabinets, autoclaves and many others. Equipment must be in working order.
  • Other: The Depot can also accept furniture such as lab benches and lab chairs. A limited amount of schools supplies such as binders, folders, etc.


UCSF has two specific contacts to help you coordinate pick-ups, depending on your location:

Mission Bay
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Mission Bay Recycling Coordinator
Phone: (415) 502-1233

All Other Locations
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Recycling Specialist UCSF Facilities Services.
Phone: (415) 502-6808

Shop Till Your Drop

If you know any educators who need science supplies, every other month the Depot has an open house where educators can go shopping—picking up items they need for teaching programs.  March 19th is the next open house.  Go HERE to learn more about how to acquire supplies.

Story by Green Impact.