Reduce, Reuse, Relearn - Computers for Schools
When considering what to do with e-waste, we need to try to look first at the top two 'Rs' - reduce and reuse. E-waste reduction would involve being careful about what you purchase so you don't have to replace too often, and considering upgrades before looking at a whole new system. The computer re-use market is alive and well. Many computer shops sell used systems. You can also donate unwanted computers to worthy causes like Computers for Schools (CFS).
CFS was co-founded in 1993 by Industry Canada and the Telephone Pioneers. They are part of a national program that collects and repairs donated computer equipment from government and private sector sources and distributes them free of charge to K-12 schools and libraries in Saskatchewan.
Since it started, CFS has provided 23,000 computers in Saskatchewan and more than 850,000 computers nationally. CFS Saskatchewan distributes 1000 to 2000 computers each year.
CFS runs nine repair and refurbishing centres in Saskatchewan (Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Swift Current, Weyburn, Yorkton, Prince Albert, Melfort and the Northern Lights School Division in La Ronge) where surplus computers are cleaned, refurbished and prepared for delivery. Workshops are staffed by SaskTel Telephone Pioneer volunteers and students.
(Source: WasteWatch, December 2003; updated Dec. 2010)
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