Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional in-person event was canceled.

Online activities and resources are available to promote responsible materials management, waste reduction, reuse, and repair.  


Rummage in the Ramp is an annual 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.

Rummage ReDux Challenge

Do you love to repair, repurpose, or upcycle? The Rummage ReDux Challenge is an opportunity to spur your creative side and "redux" (meaning to revive, bring back, transform) items from simply serviceable to shockingly spectacular, while competing against other participants.

2020 Finalists and Results

The judges have voted, and the results are below. Thank you to all Rummage ReDux participants this year—such creative and impressive upcycled projects. 

1st Place

Ben Earnhart - Spool and Pallet Patio Furniture

Ben used a recycled, free spools, some very long pallets and a table that he found in a dumpster to create a full patio set including two chairs, a table, a waste bin, “infinitely adjustable ottoman” and a Can Shed box. He spent $35 on screws, bolts and polyurethane. Ben says the furniture is incredibly comfortable and will last a lifetime!

Mike Manfull - Mower Lamp

Mike bought a 90-year-old mower at a flea market for $10 and transformed it into an attractive table lamp. He cleaned up the rust by using electrolysis and welded one wheel and the blade unit into a vertical lamp. He spent another $12 on lamp parts.

2nd Place

Chelsi and Evelyn Miller - Romper Remake

Chelsi used a dress that she no longer wore, traced the pattern of one of Evelyn’s (her daughters’) dresses, sewed the lines and traced out and sewed a half oval shape at the bottom of the dress to make the inseam and cut out the extra fabric. Evelyn provided some additional design ideas and added a ribbon to her waist! Because she used things already in her home, there was no cost.

Lisa Anthony - The Galley

Lisa picked up the original plaque from Rummage in the Ramp for free when she was a volunteer at the event. Something whimsical about the piece "spoke to her," and she wanted to save it. She removed the whale and letters from the wooden background, repainted all the pieces and added some glitter and created the wooden background with wallpaper that she glued on. It now hangs in her "galley" kitchen. No cost.

3rd Place

Cara Delaney - Sewing Table

Cara designed and engineered this project on her own, learning along the way. She replaced some flimsy particle board backing, and she built a frame to support the weight of the table. She used a lot of scrap wood and bought a sheet a plywood. She is a quilter, so she needed to have her sewing machine sit into the table so it would create a completely flat sewing surface. Now she doesn’t have to sit on the floor and sew! Total cost: $38

Eliza - Iron Head and Foot Board Trellis

Eliza purchased the original pieces from Facebook Marketplace, cleaned and repainted and secured them in the ground. She wanted a trellis for her clematis but didn’t like what she could buy so made her own. Total cost: $40

Honorable Mention

Susan Denneny -  Picket Fence Pet Gate

Susan created a dog-proof gate with cat access by using leftover pickets from a fence she purchased at ReStore several years ago and using hinges and latches that she had available at home. The cat can now go through the cat access to get to the litter box but the dogs can’t! No cost.

Ivy Moore - Bowling Ball Yard Art

Ivy created a simple, free, and attractive piece of yard art by finding a lamp post on the curb and placing a free bowling ball on top of it!  No cost.


Check out the list below for local resources if you are moving, as well as, ways to get involved in waste reduction in our community. 

Iowa City Resale and Consignment Directory 

For year-round consignment and donation opportunities, check out this directory. While Rummage is not happening in-person this year, these stores and organizations offer a variety of donation and consignment options. Some stores offer pick-up options for donation items if you do not have transportation. 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. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended to check with local stores before visiting, as hours, services, and customer capacity may change. 

Freecycle.org is another great resource that supports local reuse. This website is a platform for locals to post items they wish to get rid of or need. The items are free, and it is free to participate. 

Local Materials Management

Are you moving and plan to have materials that need to be properly handled, recycled, or landfilled? The City of Iowa City has a number of local programs to help you manage any materials you plan to part with. 

  • Hazardous Materials: It is normal to have old cleaners or paints that you need to properly dispose of when moving. Any household cleaners, lawn chemicals, auto fluids, batteries, and more can be properly disposed of at the Hazardous Material Collection Facility at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center.
    • The facility is open every week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., no appointment needed. Hazardous material drop-off is no cost to Johnson County residents. 
  • Electronics and Appliances: If you have electronics (TV, computer, cell phone, DVD player, printer, etc.) or appliances (refrigerator, stove, microwave, vacuum cleaner, coffee maker, toaster, etc.) that you would like to get rid of, you can recycle these at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center for a fee. 
    • Electronics and appliances can be recycled at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center anytime during open hours, Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment is needed. 
  • Curbside Collection Services: If you live in a single-family home up to a 4-unit apartment building, you have access to City curbside collection of trash, recycling and organics. Please have containers at the curb by 7 a.m. on your regular collection day to ensure pickup. 
    • Trash: Bag all trash, and place in your City-issued 65-gallon green-top cart. 
    • Recycling: Keep all recycling materials loose, and place in your City-issued 65-gallon blue-top cart. Curbside Recycling accepts cardboard, a variety of mixed paper, plastics (#1-5 and #7), metal cans/aluminum pie pans and foil, and waxy cartons. 
    • Organics (Food and Yard Waste): Food (fruit and vegetable parts, grains, dairy and meat products, coffee grounds) and yard waste (grass, leaves, branches, garden waste) can be combined in one container (City-issued cart, or a personal 20-35 gallon upright container) for curbside collection. Yard waste may also be placed in paper yard waste bags, but do not place food waste in paper yard waste bags. 
  • Drop-off Recycling Locations: A variety of materials can be properly recycled or disposed of at three local recycling drop-off locations. 

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 will share the more than $21,000 raised, also a new record for the event. The money raised will help 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)

2019 Volunteer Groups: 

Antelope Lending Library   I  Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA)  I  Bluestockings  I  Bur Oak Land Trust Compeer Program of Johnson County  I  Field to Family  I  Four Oaks  I  Free Lunch Program  I  Gospel Explosion Ministry  I  Houses into Homes  I  Iowa Agni  I  Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic  I  Iowa Humane Alliance  I  Iowa Master Naturalists  I  Iowa Shares  I  Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity  I  Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore  I  Iowa Youth Writing Project  I  Johnson County Humane Society  I  Lambda Theta Nu  I  Oaknoll RARE (Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation Advocacy) Riverside Theatre  I  SIIHR (Students of Hydroscience & Engineering)  I  Shelter House  I  Successful Living  I  UI Environmental Coalition   I  UI LULAC Collegiate Council #373  I  UI Urban & Regional Planning Student Association  I  Unitarian-Universalist Society of Iowa City   I  Young Life Iowa City

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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