Rummage Rampage grew for third straight year: broke records, put items to use


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Furniture and knickknacks fill the Ames Intermodal Facility as part of the Ames Rummage Sale July 30.

Kaylie Crowe

Thousands of Ames residents, students and volunteers crowded inside of a parking garage to find furniture and other donated items as part of this years Rummage Rampage.

Rummage Rampage is a community sale designed to keep reusable items out of the waste stream. The city of Ames, in partnership with the Iowa State Office of Sustainability annually hosts this event as well as nonprofit agencies who send volunteers to help. The event is open to anyone who wants to donate or shop.

During the summer, many college students are moving out but can’t move back for a week or more at a time, causing there to be an influx of unused furniture being left outside. Instead of going to a landfill, 102,550 pounds of material, over 51 tons, was diverted due to Rummage Rampage this year.  

According to the city of Ames website, the first year this was held, they diverted 44,000 pounds of furniture and housewares out of the landfill while raising more than $5,000 for local nonprofit agencies. In the second year they diverted 77,520 pounds of furniture and housewares from landfills and raised $14,000 for local nonprofit agencies.

“Even though this was our third year, this event continues to grow,” said Merry Rankin, Iowa State sustainability director and city of Ames sustainability coordinator in a city of Ames press release. “We experienced a significant increase in donated materials and sales. The results were amazing, and I want to thank our terrific volunteers. They are the reason this event was so successful.”

The city raised $18,607.85 for the seven day event. Here are some of the items which were donated frequently: There were over 200 couches, sofa sleepers and love seats donated. There were over 500 office chairs, side chairs, rocking chairs and recliners donated. Over 150 end tables, coffee tables and dining-room tables were donated and sold, and there were over 13,000 pounds of housewares donated.

Most items were priced between $1 and $50.

“The city has been working with nonprofit volunteer labor for this event,” said Susan Gwiasda, public relations officer for the city of Ames. “Now there is less waste, and we accomplish the goal of usable items being diverted from the landfill and rehomed to people who need them.”

The city offered to pick up furnishings from people who had no way to transport their materials on the first day of the sale. According to their website, they plan on continuing this next year.

More information on when the next Rummage Rampage will happen and how to get involved will be available in 2019 on the city of Ames website.