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Competitive shopping

Tiger Treasures Rummage Sale saves landfill space and cash

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  • Story by Lisa Bruce
  • Photos by Shane Epping
  • Published: May 28, 2008
lots of shoes

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Photo captions

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A Sonic the Hedgehog character lounges atop a carousel of clothing before the upcoming Tiger Treasures Rummage Sale, where he will be found in the toy section on the north side of Memorial Stadium.

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A pink flamingo lamp is one of many quirky household accessories available to adorn someone's living space.

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Elsie Heller, a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, removes a stuffed parrot from a recycling bin.

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Sale items run the gamut, from an analog Jane Fonda workout tape to a digital Frosty the Snowman CD to chemistry and art textbooks.

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Not just ready-to-wear but also broken in by a previous wearer, an assortment of shoes is ready for the taking just in time for the release of the Sex and the City movie.

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The sale includes more than 100 room-size carpets, from chic to shag.

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One hundred and fifty seven recycling bins, each holding up to 96 gallons, were left on Mizzou’s campus in hopes of converting trash into treasure.

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Clothing determined not suitable for sale will be given to the Salvation Army, where it will be baled and shipped around the world.

Anyone who considers rummage saling a competitive sport could have a veritable field day at the Tiger Treasures Rummage Sale, held from 6 a.m. to noon, May 31, on the east side of Memorial Stadium.

“Get here early. Wear your track shoes,” says Steve Burdic, coordinator of solid waste and recycling for the Campus Facilities Landscape Services unit.

He's not kidding. During the inaugural Tiger Treasures sale last year, he says, a “human wave” of nearly 700 people poured through the gate at 6 a.m. Many had been waiting since 3 or 4 a.m. Each early bird pays $5 to enter before 7 a.m.; after that admission is free.

What induces such fervor? Devised to reduce the amount of stuff that ends up in landfills when Mizzou students vacate university housing in the summer, the sale offers items “priced to sell.” For example, small microwaves range from $10 to $20.

The early bird gets only one worm

Last year small refrigerators, TVs, computers and microwaves sold the fastest. This year, each shopper may purchase only one of each type of appliance. All appliances have been tested to see whether they work, and all sales are final.

Another change: Shoppers get maps when they enter. (Hint: Appliances are the furthest from the entrance, at the southeast end of the stadium.)

With donations from Mizzou students moving out of residence halls, campus apartments and Greek houses, the sale garners tons of treasures — literally. “We estimate that we got 15 tons in; that’s about the same as last year,” Burdic says. Donations filled 157 recycling containers.

Burdic estimates 600 volunteer hours have gone into the sale, from pickups to sorting and preparing items. Proceeds from the sale and early bird admission fee benefit local United Way agencies: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri, Meals on Wheels, Phoenix Programs for addiction treatment, the Salvation Army and the Voluntary Action Center, an organization serving low-income mid-Missouri families. Last year the sale raised about $10,000.

Read more in:  Family & CommunityAgriculture & the EnvironmentOn Campus

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Last updated: Feb. 22, 2012