Sale's 23 tons of trash underscore the weekend's success

WARRENSBURG - In the wake of the tens of thousands of shoppers annually visiting the World's Largest Garage Sale, there's traditionally been tens of thousands of pounds of trash left behind each year.This year was one of the larger hauls - which testifies to the Sale's success and substantial crowds, estimated at anywhere from 75,000 to 150,000 people.This year, there were 181 steel trash barrels set out, and when the Sale concluded, they were stuffed with trash. Most all of the drums, emptied several times during the weekend, were surrounded by hulking cardboard boxes and giant trash bags filled with additional refuse, including discarded items, food waste, and packing material. Wally Ross of Warrensburg - assisted by Chris Nemec, Robbie Sweet, Lennie Baker - worked through Sunday night to clean up the littered lots, stuff-strewn sidewalks and streets, in addition to emptying the barrels.The haul amounted to 64 dump-truck loads, or 16 percent more rubbish than last year's 55 dump truck loads..That volume amounts to 23.4 tons, or about 3.4 tons more than last year.Ross reported Tuesday that the haul, unlike in past years, did not include much discarded merchandise including glassware, plates mirrors and some jewelry and household goods with value, as was left behind in prior years. Some said Tuesday the 2010 vendors were less apt to throw leftover wares away due to the economy, while others cited folks scavenging for anything of value. Ross said his crew did not pick up a refrigerator or baby car seats like in recent years, but they did haul away a bed, a sink and two dressers. The volume was the best in several years, but not as high as the record haul a half-dozen years ago, when the trash amounted to 92 dump-truck loads over the weekend."We had a very large crowd this year," Ross said. "Saturday was unbelievable - we took away 26 loads Saturday alone, and it was hard to maneuver through the streets."Ross said the backups were frustrating."The traffic was terrible-- you couldn't go anywhere," he added.But for Cheryl Kenyon, president of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce which sponsors the sale, Wally's hardships were an inspiring, welcome aspect of the great Sale's unexpected success. "The vendors had a phenomenal weekend," she said. "We even know that some of them pulled out of town Sunday morning, because they already sold out of their goods."

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