1. Purpose
  2. Guidelines
  3. Turning In Found Items
  4. Claiming an Item
  5. Identifiable Items
  6. Unclaimed and Disposal of Items

COVID-19 Operations: As of Fall 2021, Section 1 of these guidelines is suspended. Only items not covered in this section will be accepted.

Carleton University provides a lost and found service as a courtesy to the campus community and is not responsible for personal items left on campus or in the community. This includes keeping any record of individuals looking for lost items.


The purpose of this document is to provide a guideline for the general management of Lost & Found.


The designated Lost & Found locations are responsible for developing or modifying, as needed, protocols and procedures related to the present guideline and the management of the Lost & Found process.

Lost and Found locations reserve the right to determine how items are managed based upon the condition of the item when it is received.

The person who turned in the item will have no claim at any point to the item if the owner is not located.

Items of obvious value, including but not limited to cell phones, jewelry, cash and credit cards are held in secure locations.

Any items posing an immediate risk or which are either controlled by law or illegal will not be accepted by Designated Locations. Campus Safety Services will be notified immediately, and Designated Locations will make every reasonable effort to secure the item before Safety arrives. Examples: weapons, alcohol, drugs.

Turning In Found Items

Designated Lost and Found Locations:

Information Carleton – 407 University Centre (main location)

Residence Commons Reception Services – Residence Commons

Athletics Welcome Centre – Alumni Hall

Library Services Desk – MacOdrum Library

Partner Lost and Found Location:

Campus Safety Services continues to operate on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. If abandoned property is found on campus, you may contact their non-emergency number at 613-520-3612. Please be aware that building access is restricted to authorized personnel with exception of spaces designated as publicly accessible.

Designated Locations Will:

Section 1: Have a lost and found bin for low-value clothing items that is accessible to the  Carleton Community to look through at their discretion during the location’s business hours. These bins will be emptied and donated to clothing bins on campus as needed, and items are not tracked.

Section 2: Make all reasonable efforts to locate the owner of all the found items that are not covered under Section 1 and are not perishable (see Unclaimed Items).

Section 3: Have access to a central portal in which they will record the description and location of items turned in that are not categorized under Section 1 nor are perishable (see Unclaimed Items). Safety will also have access to said portal.

Section 4: Search any electronic devices (phone, tablet, laptop) for immediately apparent identifying information, including accessing unlocked devices. If the owner’s name cannot be determined from this search, or if the device is locked with a passcode, the location will not take further steps to gain access to the item. Locations will not connect their own desktops with any devices, including USBs.

Examples: In the case of devices with a SIM card (e.g. phone, 3G iPad), locations may contact the wireless provider to find out to whom the SIM card is registered. Locations may also connect the device to a computer running iTunes to read the device’s name. If it has been named “Jane Doe’s iPad”, locations may then search for “Jane Doe” in the campus community. PLease note the Lost and Found locations do not keep all possible cables on hand so this option may not be available.

Section 5: Cursory search any wallets and bags (for example, a backpack or purse) to ensure that they do not contain any items that could represent a risk and to attempt to identify the owner of the item.

Claiming an Item

Items can be claimed during regular hours of operation at each location. Please check website for details.

A rightful owner will be responsible for satisfactorily identifying the lost item before it will be returned to them. It is at the staff member’s discretion to ask for proper identification when returning an item.

Items will not be released to a third party without authorization from a CU email account.

Identifiable Items

The owner of identifiable items will be contacted via their CU email account once an item is received, and at the earliest opportunity. Where a CU email is not available, all reasonable and secure efforts will be taken to contact the owner via alternate means.

Campus Cards will be destroyed only when no longer valid.

U-Passes received by OC Transpo’s Lost and Found (located at Heartwood House) will be returned to Information Carleton via a courier service every Monday. U-Passes received on or before the start of pass renewal will be expired the following month. This will occur on Sep 1 (cards received on or before August 14th) and May 1 (cards received on or before April 14th), with passes being inventoried and returned to OC Transpo.

Government issued identification will be returned to issuing agency after thirty (30) days.

Passports will be turned into Passport Canada immediately.

Credit Cards and Bank Cards will be shred upon contacting the financial institution.

Unclaimed and Disposal of Items

Perishable items, medications, loose papers with no identifying information, and items deemed unhygienic will be safely disposed of daily.

Items that are recorded in the portal and not identifiable (see Identifiable Items) will be held for thirty (30) days and will subsequently be considered expired and either donated or held for resale. Once items are considered expired, information about those items and the items themselves will not be accessible. Please note that for May-August, Residence will only hold items for 14 days.

Any money that is found and unclaimed will be donated to the United Way.