A surplus of provincial government computers will be donated to volunteer organizations in Manitoba, the minister of energy science and technology recently announced.

“This is a creative solution that will benefit volunteer organizations in continuing to meet community needs,” Minister Tim Sale said. “We are very pleased to be able to work with community groups to provide this useful computer equipment.”

End-of-service computers in the provincial government are currently recycled through the Computers for Schools and Libraries Program (CFSL). CFSL recycled approximately 3,200 computers last year but demands for computers from schools and libraries have shifted to higher end multi-media computers. The lower end computers are surplus and available for other uses.

Computers for Schools and Libraries will receive $20,000 from the province through the Community Connections Initiative to expand its program by supplying computers at no cost to the voluntary sector. These computers will require some upgrades and replacement of hardware. Operating systems and software will be sought at no charge for the voluntary sector from foundations and suppliers. Applications and distribution will be managed through CFSL.

“Computers for Schools and Libraries has been providing refurbished computers for seven years now,” said Carla Buchanan, chair of the board of directors of CFSL. “We are happy with this new partnership that will allow us to provide further service to community groups.”