About the Computers for Schools program

The CFS program is a partnership-based program that works across the country to provide Canadians the opportunity to access the digital economy. The program supports centres (CFS affiliates), located across the country, to refurbish surplus computers and other digital devices, donated by public and private donors, and provide them to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous communities as well as low-income Canadians. The program is helping extend the useful life of devices and therefore reducing the environmental impact of electronic waste. Youth also benefit from paid, practical work internships where they can develop more advanced digital skills.

Since 1993, the CFS program provided over 1.6 million refurbished computers to schools across the country and has given more than 7,000 paid internships to young Canadians to allow them to acquire market-relevant skills. In 2014, CFS expanded its reach and now serves a growing number of not-for-profits, Indigenous communities and vulnerable Canadians. In 2015, the program successfully delivered 7,500 computers to Syrian Refugees and recently committed to deliver 50,000 computers to low-income families via the new Connecting Families Initiative (CFI).

The CFS program is now expanding its refurbished device offerings to include not only desktop computers but laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Technical Work Experience Program has been recently renamed to CFS Intern program (CFSi) and now offers a broader array of digital and soft skills to youth drawn from diverse communities and backgrounds. CFSi remains part of the Youth Employment Strategy.

CFS refurbishment centres are located across Canada and offer these internship opportunities to students and recent graduates from college and university, providing young people with paid, practical on-the-job experience in refurbishment centres across Canada.

Program milestones

Long description

August 1993
Computers for Schools is launched

December 1993
First delivery! A truck with 160 computers leaves Ottawa for the Maritimes

Libraries begin to receive computers

Government of Canada directs all surplus computers to CFS

Technical Work Experience Program is established

CFS celebrates 125,000 computers delivered to schools and libraries

250,000 computers are delivered

Computers for Success Canada (CFSC), a CFS umbrella organization, is established

Not-for-profit learning organizations start receiving computers

330 computers are distributed in urban and northern communities through the Aboriginal Head Start program

1 million computers are delivered

5,000 TWEP internships are completed

Seniors, new Canadians, and low income Canadians begin receiving computers

More than 7,500 computers are delivered to Syrian refugees through #WelcomeRefugees initiative

September 2017
CFS celebrates 1.5 million computers delivered.

Budget 2018
Computers for Schools received ongoing funding.

August 2018
Computers for Schools celebrates 25 years

Source: Computers for Schools statistics

CFS and the environment

CFS is dedicated to preserving the environment. Since 1993, CFS has donated over 1.5 million refurbished computers nationwide.

CFS cooperates with partners across Canada to extend the useful lifespan of federal government and other donors' assets through refurbishment. Extending the life of a computer is the most effective way to reduce its overall impact on the environment. All CFS e-waste is handled by certified recyclers.

Digital Devices saved from landfills by weight (full description is located below the image)
Long description

Digital Devices saved from landfills by weight (in Tons (US) by fiscal year)

1,340 tons were reused in 2010-11.

1,404 tons were reused in 2011-12.

1,317 tons were reused in 2012-13.

1,324 tons were reused in 2013-14.

1,103 tons were reused in 2014-15.

695 tons were reused in 2015-16.

809 tons were reused in 2016-17.

750 tons were reused in 2017-18.

*Reduction in tonnage is a reflection of smaller devices