The CFS program helps protect the environment from toxic electronic waste with responsible materials management in-line with principals of sustainable development.

The CFS program helps reduce the number of new computers that need to be produced to meet the needs of the information age in the 21st century by providing good, used computers to its clients.

In Canada, where the Federal Sustainability Act of 2008 states that each Department is responsible for minimizing its own environmental footprint, the CFS program plays a unique role in supporting this requirement by providing a government-wide approach for collecting, refurbishing and distributing surplus computer equipment to schools and other beneficiaries on a national level.

The CFS program also manages e-waste responsibly. In the past 10 years alone, more than 1,000,000 pieces of equipment have been recycled through the CFS program.  All CFS e-waste is handled by certified recyclers.

This innovative approach intercepts the stream of e-waste allowing for a second life for these materials, which reduces the volume of e-waste shipped out of the Yukon.

– Leslie Leong, Leslie Leong Studio, Whitehorse, Yukon

Reuse means that the product/item is utilized in its original form, often with slight repairs or replacement of parts to make it fit for use by other individuals.

Recycle means to take the product apart so that its materials can be used to produce new items.


The impact of the CFS program reusing more than 1.5 million computers since 1993 is the equivalent of:

  • 10,318,000 barrels of oil saved;
  • 478,884,000 gallons of gas saved;
  • a reduction of over 400,000 tonnes in CO2emissions.

The net benefit of refurbishing one computer over recycling it is $640.93.

The manufacturing of a computer and its screen takes at least:

  • 240 kg (530 pounds) of fossil fuels;
  • 22 kg (48 pounds) of chemicals;
  • 5 tons of water.

The life cycle energy use of a computer with a 17-inch monitor is dominated by production (81%) as opposed to operation (19%).