Rummage RAMpage provides sustainable alternative to move-out day waste


Nathan Kouangvan/Iowa State Daily

Volunteers help load couches for buyers at Rummage Rampage on July 30, 2016.

Kara Gravert

As leases turnover, we watch our community’s curbs transform into a home for heaping unwanted household items. The bulky items left behind during the housing shuffle create an immense amount of work for the city and more waste for landfills. Rather than abandon our used items, Ames has a sustainable alternative.

The city will be hosting its fourth annual Rummage RAMpage event from July 26 through Aug. 3. The nine day event will be hosted at the Ames Intermodal Facility parking ramp off Hayward Avenue.

Bill Schmitt, Resource Recovery Plant superintendent, said the event is designed to keep usable items out of the landfill.

“With the large number of lease changeovers at the end of July, the event provides an alternative for residents who are not only looking to dispose of household goods but also acquire still-usable items that might be thrown in the trash or randomly dumped otherwise,” Schmitt said.

The sale is open to the public and profits will be divided among volunteering nonprofit organizations in the community. Last year’s rummage re-homed more than 102,000 pounds of material and raised more than $18,600 for local nonprofit organizations and clubs.

Iowa State’s director of sustainability, Merry Rankin, said the event has continued to expand its range of accepted items.

“We’ve started including toiletries for local shelters, the SHOP at Iowa State and Food at First,” Rankin said. “All those items [clothing, bedding, food items, books] are not beneficial to the resource recovery center, but they can have use and benefit to our community.”

It is free to unload your unwanted items during the nine-day event. New items continually flow through and are repriced accordingly. The final day of the rummage will provide half off all prices.

In addition to rehoming unwanted items, R.O.A.R (Rehoming Our Animals/Aquariums Responsibly) will be hosting a pet surrender event alongside the rummage, assisting displaced animals find new homes.

This year, approximately 1,500 hours of volunteer work are available in 60 different time slots. To register your club or organization visit, or reach out to Anne Owens at [email protected]. Registration opens May 25. Interested volunteer groups should refer to the schedule of events below.

May 25 — Agencies begin registering volunteers and receive weekly updates.

June 21 — Deadline for agencies to have volunteers registered to serve minimum of 10 hours.

June 24 — Volunteer registrations opens to the general public if shifts have not already been filled.

July 18 — Volunteer orientation, 6 p.m. City of Ames Water Plant.