Pop-up Donation Drop program logo with accepted donation items

Pop-up Donation Drop

Pop-up Donation Drop was a new program this year to offer convenient donation options for students and community members that may be moving or just in need of a donation option for usable items they don’t need anymore. 

Several temporary drop-off locations were available this summer and were located in a variety of different locations including University of Iowa Residence Halls, Mercer Park, Happy Hollow Park, Wetherby Park, Market Street downtown parking lot, and the former University Club's parking lot on Melrose Avenue. With Rummage in the Ramp not happening this year, this program was meant to serve as an alternative, co-hosted by the City of Iowa City and University of Iowa Office of Sustainability and the Environment.


The university and community drop-off events diverted several tons of material from being landfilled. Here are a few other impactful statistics from this year's program: 

Community Drop-off Options

The community phase (June to July 2021) of this program was available to all area residents and offered options for donating unwanted, usable goods, donating unopened food, and recycling old batteries. 

At these events, residents could: 
  1. Donate Usable Goods (donations will be provided to Houses into Homes and Salvation Army)
    • Accepted: 
      • Furniture
      • Household items (dishes, picture frames, etc.)
      • Clothing
      • Bedding
      • Working, small electronics & appliances
        • Not accepted
          • Mini refrigerators 
          • Box televisions and computers
    • Not Accepted: 
      • Broken or damaged items
      • Mattresses
      • Pillows
      • Futons
      • Mini refrigerators 
      • Pianos or organs
      • Older entertainment centers
      • Hazardous material or chemicals (visit www.icgov.org/hhm
      • Toiletries or hygiene items
      • Note: Organizations accepting donations at this event have the right to turn away any items that are unacceptable or damaged. The donor is responsible for properly handling any items not accepted for donation. 
  2. Donate Unopened Food 
    • Unopened food items, such as canned or boxed food, can be donated. Donations will be provided to Table To Table, the local food rescue organization. 
  3. Recycle Old Batteries 
    • All types of batteries are accepted at no cost (Exception: No large lead-acid batteries, such as car batteries). Please keep all batteries separate from donation materials and place in battery-specific collection container. Batteries will be safely disposed of through the Iowa City Landfill's Hazardous Material Collection Facility
UI Residence Hall Drop-off Options

Pop-Up Donation Drop kicked off in May at the University of Iowa (UI) Residence Halls to offer a donation option as students were moving out of dorm rooms to reduce the amount of usable goods ending up in dumpsters. This wave of the program was a success, with students able to donate usable goods, donate unopened food, and recycle old batteries.

We sincerely thank our friends at Houses into Homes, Salvation Army, and Table To Table for the partnerships at the University events, and we look forward to kicking off the community events with them! 

photos from university donation events
Partner Organizations 

This program would not be possible without our local partners. Thank you to our partners for their support! 

Partner Logos


Check out the list below for local resources on donation and disposal of items, as well as, ways to get involved in waste reduction in our community. 

Local Materials Management

View the Moving: Waste & Recycling Guide (text-only version) for a list of local curbside collection, drop-off, and community programs and resources. 

Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Borrow

Reduce waste and your environmental impact with reuse, repair, and sharing. 

Reduce and Reuse Stuff

For a variety of resources and information on how to reduce waste and reuse, visit the Reduction and Reuse web page. 

For year-round consignment and donation opportunities, check out the Iowa City Resale and Consignment Directory. These stores and organizations offer a variety of donation and consignment options. Beyond donating or selling, Iowa City residents can purchase items, and even furnish an apartment or home, at an affordable price with gently-used items. 

Repair Your Stuff

Visit the Repair web page for free tips, tricks, and tutorials on how to fix a variety of common items yourself. 

If you are not interested in do-it-yourself and you prefer to hire a professional, the Iowa City Area Repair Directory offers a list of professional repair options available in our community. 

Share or Borrow Stuff

There are a lot of items that can be rented, shared, or borrowed instead of bought which can save you time, money, and garage space. The Iowa City Rental Item Directory offers a variety of rental opportunities in our community for equipment, supplies, tools, and more. 

Rummage in the Ramp


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional Rummage in the Ramp in-person event is canceled for 2021.

Rummage in the Ramp is a City-sponsored effort that began in 2007 to keep tons of reusable items out of the landfill, and get those items to those who need them when the lease changeover occurs annually at the end of July. This work dramatically reduces the amount of goods that go to the landfill, a sustainability goal that serves as a vital part of the City's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Environmental and human services non-profits and organizations work the event, and split the profits.

2019 Recap

The 13th annual Rummage in the Ramp event diverted more than 32 tons of materials from curbs and dumpsters, setting a new record as more than 800 residents donated their still-usable items. 

In 2019, 31 groups volunteered during the event and shared the more than $21,000 raised, also a new record for the event. The money raised helps these organizations continue doing great work in the Iowa City community.

A glance at items diverted from the landfill:
  • 392 chairs (office, dining, or outdoor)
  • 267 boxes of clothing
  • 246 books shelves, dressers, or entertainment centers
  • 184 coffee/end tables
  • 157 small appliances
  • 115 boxes of books
  • 115 chairs (upholstered)
  • 106 couches
  • 67 desks
  • 50 large tables (dining or outdoor)

After more than a decade, Rummage in the Ramp has kept over 320 tons of items out of the landfill. Nearly 30,000 people have purchased items, and over 2,500 volunteers have worked the event, sharing more than $208,000 to support their organizations.

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