Pan Am surplus going once, going twice on the...
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Aug 24, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Pan Am surplus going once, going twice on the online auction block

What happens to the podiums after the Games end? You can buy them, of course, along with thousands of other items from folding chairs to televisions.


It’s curtains for the Pan Am Games, but now what to do with all that fabric?

Across the region, trucks are being loaded with bistro tables, couches, and folding chairs from the athletes’ village and other venues. A 125,000 square foot patch of Mississauga warehouse space is being filled with the remnants of the Games, much of it wrapped and stacked, row upon row, skid upon skid, laid out before the TO2015 workers tasked with selling off the Games.

In all 4,600 items, from plastic chains to megaphones to fork lift extension arms, will be sold at online auction site

Not everything will be auctioned. Some things, like wheelchairs and beds, were rented, while other items will be donated, said Bill Zakarow, the senior director of procurement for TO2015.

The Games organizing committee, in conjunction with Sport Canada, is in talks to send equipment like judo mats, basketballs, and balance beams to sports organizations, municipalities, and First Nations reserves.

Comforters and pillows from the 7,600 beds in the athletes’ village will go to shelters and missions by way of the municipalities that hosted the Games.

With auctions running until late October, later if needed, the organization hopes to recover $1.5-2 million, according to Zakarow.

“Realistically we’re not expecting to sell every item that goes up,” Zakarow said. “We’re hopeful that we will.”

It’s going well so far. Every item put on the block has sold, including a lot of those blue and orange road signs. Nine bidders fought over the 24-skids worth of signs. The winner walked away $800 lighter, but rich in signs.

When all is said and done, more than 600 TVs, from 19-inch up to 70-inch screens, and 210 pairs of gently used Maytag washers and dryers will be put on the block. The first lot saw a 60-inch Samsung TV go for $1,085, less than half the manufacturer’s recommended price.

And well, sure, everyone wants something practical, here are some of our favourite auction items if you allow some wiggle room in your definition of practical.

Purple turf

Though not high on the list of likely-to-sells, consider what will happen if you, yes you, don’t buy it.

“If you get one and you sell it, then you don’t have to throw it in the garbage, right? No landfill,” Zakarow said of the random rolls of colourful turf.

Buy the purple turf or feel pretty bad about how messed up the world will be for future generations living among purple turf piles that got all dirty in the land fill when they could have served a purpose in, who knows, something like a very rich child’s large playhouse.

Those are your options.

Muskoka chairs for giants

The Muskoka chairs for giants and other large needs come in a variety of colours. Bonus, they come complete with shoe marks from the less gigantic people who crawled into them for photo ops on the Exhibition Grounds back when it was known as Pan Am Park.

Could be handy for entertaining one large guest or many human-sized ones.

5-packs of dollies

You could get five dollies (or hand trucks) for $125 and have incredibly ill-timed housewarming gifts ready for your next five friends. They just moved! They don’t need it now. Hilarious.

Massage tables

Why buy one massage table when you can buy a pack of 10 lightly-used massage tables for the low, low price of $1,000? Is this a low, low price for massage tables? If you’re in the market for 10 you probably know already.

Spinal boards and collapsible stretchers

Good for all your emergency, therapy, or mortuary needs, says the box on the stretchers. So it’s really a 3-in-1 and a steal with a lot of five currently going for $140.10.

What you won’t see

Don’t expect to get your hands on any Pachi costumes. The earthly receptacle for the unending wiggling excitement that is the Pan Am mascot will not be available to the general public for fear it could fall into the wrong hands, according to Zakarow.

“You just don’t sell off a costume, especially a mascot, because you don’t know where it’s going to end up,” he said. “You just don’t want it ending up on the wrong website or what have you.”

No, you really do not.

Toronto Star

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(1) Comment

By mush | JUNE 08, 2016 11:26 AM
Why is it that in the initial design and purchase orders, items are not chosen and purchased with the view that they can be easily and effectively repurposed and not end up in landfill? This is a blatant disrespect for tax dollars and the so called carbon footprint this government say s they are so concerned about. Where in all of this is the Liberals commitment to reducing carbon and climate change. Once again it's don't do as I do, do as I say because it creates tax income for Liberals. The height of hypocrisy.
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