The City’s ninth annual award-winning recycling program, Rummage in the Ramp, got underway over the weekend, but there’s still another full week of opportunities to donate, shop, and enjoy the event! Stop by the lower level of Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp, between the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center parking lot and City Hall during these dates and times to donate items or shop for bargains or things you need:

  • Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31:  Noon to 8 p.m. daily
  • Saturday, August 1:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 2:  Noon to 8 p.m. Coupons valid from noon to 8 p.m.

Rummage in the Ramp was created to help reduce the volume of materials that ended up in the Landfill each summer after tenants moved out of their apartments and threw away tons of still-usable goods. The program now encourages owners to donate items they no longer need, which are then sold at bargain prices – typically, $1 to $20, depending on the item. Bargain shoppers and people looking to furnish their homes or apartments can find everything they need, including many unique, one-of-a-kind or hard-to-find items. Proceeds from the sale are divided among the 38 local nonprofits that help staff the 10-day mega-reuse event.

New this year:

  • Credit cards will be accepted for purchases. There will be a $5 minimum purchase required.
  • Rummage ReDux: We’re highlighting the creative side of recycling this year by showing attendees that one person’s trash is truly another person’s treasure. Five Johnson County artists, crafters, and upcyclers have been selected to use their creativity and skill to repair, repurpose, or transform one item from this year’s Rummage donations into something spectacular, and show the rest of us how it’s done.
  • Have a small appliance or other electronic item that no longer works? Bring it down and we’ll recycle it for you, saving you a trip to the Landfill. Whether it’s working or not, a $10 recycle fee will be charged for televisions, computers or laptops, to cover expenses in case the item doesn’t sell. When you drop off these types of items, please let us know if they work.
  • Large appliances may also be donated if they are clean and in good working order. However, if they do not work, they must be recycled at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center at 3900 Hebl Avenue. For more information, visit

If you’re new to Iowa City or to Rummage in the Ramp, here’s how it works:

Donations: Tenants who are moving out of their apartments who have still-usable household items they no longer need or want are encouraged to drop off donations at the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp during the Rummage hours listed above.

If you have items to donate but don’t have a vehicle to get them there, you may call for a pick-up appointment. Cost is $10. A limited number of appointments are still available for Iowa City residents.  Visit for available dates and times. 

To shop: Purchase hours are listed above, and since there’s always something new being donated, there’s always something new hitting the sales floor -- so stop by often!

Coupons for $1, $5 or $10 will be awarded to every 50th customer, and will be redeemable on Sunday, August 2, the last day of the sale. Any remaining items left after the conclusion of the sale will be donated to local nonprofits.

Food donations: Once again, Rummage in the Ramp will serve as a drop-off location for the Crisis Center’s “Thanksgiving in July” program. Tenants and members of the community who have unopened non-perishable foods to donate are encouraged to drop them off at Rummage in the Ramp during sale hours. More information is available at

Sunday is the fun day! On the last day of the sale, Sunday, August 2, staff will implement a “Name Your Price” sales strategy beginning at 4 p.m. to clear out remaining items. Other fun that’s in store on Sunday: A demonstration by the Rummage ReDux artists, who will be working on their projects from 4 to 6 p.m., and live music by The Polka Dots, a small group of the New Horizons Band. Stop by the visit the artists for a few new creative ideas, and enjoy a polka, waltz, and a march or two from The Polka Dots ( 

Rummage in the Ramp is sponsored by the City’s Landfill / Recycling Division and Neighborhood Services Division, as well as local businesses, Fareway and Aero Rental & Party Shoppe. For more information, visit, see our Facebook page, or contact one of the following City staff members: Jennifer Jordan, Recycling Coordinator, at 319-887-6160 or, or Marcia Bollinger, Neighborhood Outreach Planner, at 319-356-5237 or

Date of publication

Monday, July 27, 2015