A flickering lamp lights up one corner of the room, while smoke from solder rises into the air. The sound of a toy dinosaur is washed out by the on and off noises of a blender. All of these items have one thing in common: None of them works.

Columbia residents brought their damaged goods to the eighth annual Fix-it Fair on Saturday afternoon at the Columbia Public Library.

The Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District and the city of Columbia co-sponsor the quarterly event to provide Columbia residents with the knowledge from expert, handy volunteers to help repair and mend small appliances.

The event is designed to help Columbia residents learn to fix small appliances, electronics, toys, textiles and more so they are able to continue using them while keeping them out of landfills.

Lelande Rehard is the district manager at the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District and is one of the main organizers of the event.

“It’s pretty fun to bring in something that’s already broken, and it’s cool to get that confidence to fix something,” Rehard stated.

Volunteers are able to sign up to help residents find solutions to fix their broken items by contacting Rehard.

People are able to bring items to be fixed or ask questions about items they could not bring from home.

“Without volunteers, the events wouldn’t be possible,” said Carolyn Sullivan, a Columbia resident who has attended the fair for the past few years.

She brought a broken NutriBullet blender to Saturday’s event.

“The fair demystifies and reduces the fear of doing these things yourself,” Sullivan said, “I get the opportunity to fix something myself and the opportunity to keep something out of the landfill.”

The fair will continue through the Office of Sustainability as a way to help promote recycling, reusing items and reducing waste. The Office of Sustainability’s website also provides updated dates and times for when and where future fairs will take place.

  • Community reporter, fall 2019 Studying magazine editing Reach me at lapnkg@missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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