How Does it Work?: Drexel Surplus

Need to get rid of old or unused office supplies, furniture or other large items?
How does it work? Drexel Surplus

This interview is part of DrexelNEWS’ recurring feature — “How Does it Work?” — spotlighting operational or administrative departments, teams or processes you might not know about, but who keep the Drexel cogs moving each and every day!

Do you have any large items in your office that are in solid condition, but no longer needed? Good news: There’s a service at the University — Drexel Surplus — that either auctions off or donates items like this, free of charge to employees, securing extra revenue and space for the department. Spearheaded by Executive Director of Climate and Sustainability Bo Solomon, Drexel Surplus has sold or donated countless large items and equipment for departments across the University for the last 10 years; you can see a full list of sold items from the past year on GovDeals. But how does this service work, exactly? DrexelNEWS sat down with Bo to hear all the details. 

Q: What is the purpose of Drexel Surplus?

A: Drexel Surplus began in 2014 and sells, and avoids disposal costs of, over $200,000 worth of equipment per year, while avoiding disposal costs. Many colleges and universities have surplus programs to help dispose of anything and everything a school may purchase — and reap both the sustainable and financial benefits of doing so.

Q: Why do employees need to know about Surplus?

A: Drexel Surplus can generate funds from sales, reduce landfill use and associated costs for disposal, and increase sustainability efforts on campus. There may be untapped potential in your own office space to achieve one or all these goals!

Q: How does it work to utilize Drexel Surplus’ services? Break it down for us.

A: There is no cost to use Drexel Surplus. Departments may submit items to be sold via our Qualtrics survey or email me directly at Once the request is processed and approved, sellers will be contacted by email and/or an Outlook meeting request (if available) to meet with buyers. The Fund code provided on this form is used by Surplus to deposit money into your account. Equipment is kept in its current location while the sale (think eBay for higher ed) takes place for several days on GovDeals. After the sale ends and the high bidder pays GovDeals, Drexel Surplus (facilitated by me) will arrange for the winning bidder to come to each department to pick up what they bought. Approximately one week after the sold item is picked up, Drexel Surplus will get the funds from GovDeals, and a journal entry will be processed to give 90 percent of the sale to the department. Ten percent of each sale funds Climate & Sustainability work on campus, including funds to hire a co-op each term. (Departments may also allow Climate & Sustainability to keep 50 percent or even 100 percent of the sale to help fund additional sustainability efforts on campus.)

Q: What are the top thingsyou want employees to know about Drexel Surplus?

A: 1) Before you look into paying to dispose of anything, give Drexel Surplus a try! 2) Drexel Surplus doesn’t move anything; buyers receive a Bill of Sale, and they come to campus to pick up what they bought. Once they pay, it is their equipment, similar to buying a book or computer from the bookstore.

Q: How can the community contact you for more information about the Surplus program?

A: Just email me at, and I’ll set up a time to see what is for sale at each department.

Q: What are some recent examples of Surplus in action?

A: This 1986 21-foot Privateer Roamer II boat and trailer sold in April 2023 for over $12,000. An Osttiroler Getreidemuehlen grain mill sold in October 2024 for $1,475. And this 1967 Cadillac you probably saw on campus last term for the ELECTRIFIED exhibit just sold for $780 this past January.

Q: Any other sustainability-related services or events you’d like to let the community know about?

A: Each year, the University participates in the Campus Race to Zero Waste, a friendly, nationwide competition and benchmarking tool among colleges and universities to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Drexel participates through on-campus recycling collection events for electronics, computer equipment, old and used-up toner and ink cartridges, and batteries of all kinds. This year, collection events are running from Tuesday, March 19, through Thursday, March 21, on all three Philadelphia campuses. Visit the Campus Race to Zero Waste page for all the details.

Also, Drexel Climate and Sustainability has recently launched the Drexel Buy Nothing Depot, a free supply-exchange program for the Drexel community that collects unneeded office supplies across campus and then allows community members to browse the inventory and take items they need for their own space. If you have items to offer, please email with a list of supplies you can donate. We will set up a time to come to your location to review what you have. And if you’d like to stop by and browse our inventory, we’re open on Wednesdays from 1–4 p.m. in the PSA Building, room 104, during the academic terms.