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. Environmental and human services non-profits and organizations work the event, and split the profits.

Donations are tax-deductible and most items are priced at $1-$5, $10 and $20.

Rummage in the Ramp 2019: July 25 to August 3

Shopping and Donation Hours

  • Thurs. July 25 - Fri. July 26: noon - 7 PM
  • Sat. July 27: 7 AM - 7 PM
  • Sun. July 28 - Fri. August 2: noon - 7 PM
  • Sat. August 3: 7 AM - noon

Location change: the event will be moved to the second level of the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp, Iowa City. 

People are encouraged to donate items they no longer want or need. We accept a variety of donations: furniture, clothing, bedding and linens, shoes, toys, books, games, electronics, working appliances, outdoor and sporting equipment, picture frames, kitchen and household items, and more! 

Or, stop by to shop for affordable, gently-used items. We do not have storage for items until the event, so cannot accept early donations. If you have items to donate now, we recommend checking out the many other great secondhand and consignment options in the Iowa City area via our Consignment Directory.

Items not accepted for donation at Rummage in the Ramp: 

  • Mattresses, Box Springs, Water Beds
  • Sofa Sleepers
  • Baby Cribs
  • Car Seats
  • Child Strollers
  • Hazardous Material (chemicals, gasoline, etc.)
  • Items that are missing parts, broken, stained, torn, beyond use, or smell
  • Broken or non-working large appliances (refrigerator, washer, dryer, oven)
  • Items not assembled (unless all bolts/parts are attached in a baggie with tape!)

2019 Volunteer Groups: 

Antelope Lending Library   I  Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA)  I  Bluestockings  I  Bur Oak Land Trust  I  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  Misfits  I  Oaknoll  I  RARE (Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation Advocacy)  I  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

Large Item Pickup

Do you have furniture and other large items you would like to donate to Rummage, but no way to transport them?

We offer donation pickups for a fee of $16 within Iowa City limits. Pickups are first come, first-served. The signup form will be available here on July 17th. 

Rummage Redux Challenge

Do you love to repair/repurpose/upcycle? The Rummage ReDux Challenge is an opportunity to spur your creative side and transform items found at Rummage in the Ramp from simply serviceable to possibly shockingly spectacular, while competing against other participants.  Anyone can participate but prizes cannot be awarded to contestants who live outside of Johnson County or are City of Iowa City employees. Compete against other participants for cash prizes in three categories:

  1. Furniture Restoration – refinish, repaint, reupholster
    Rummage Redux
  2. Artistic Reinvention – remake ordinary objects into works of art
  3. Creative Re-Adaption – recreate items from an intended use to a creative reuse

$100- 1st place prizes and $50 - 2nd place prizes will be awarded in each category. 


  • Purchase an item(s) from Rummage in the Ramp anytime during the event starting Thursday, July 25
  • Sign up at the sales area so staff can keep you informed about Rummage Redux schedules
  • Snap photos of your item before and during the transformation process
  • Track the total cost and time spent on your project
  • Showcase your project at the Rummage ReDux Challenge event on Friday, Aug. 2 at 6:00 p.m. during the sale.  Please arrive by 5:45 PM to complete final entry forms. Submission after 5:45 p.m. will not be considered.
  • Be sure to create and display a storyboard that includes before and during photos, your cost and time invested, as well as your contact information.
  • The judges will visit with you and make their award decisions by 7 p.m. that evening


  • Five hobbyists/professionals/recyclers will evaluate each project based on the following:
  • Imaginative reuse and overall improvement
  • Quality of the work
  • Functionality of completed project
  • Presentation and thoroughness of storyboard

Questions? Contact Marcia Bollinger at marcia-bollinger@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5237

Electronics and Appliances Recycling and Donation

Recycle non-working items at Rummage in the Ramp. 

Non-working small appliances: Accepted at no charge. Items may include: Coffee Makers, Toasters, Vacuums, Blenders

Non-working electronics with no screen: Accepted at no charge. Items may include: Printers, Cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, Stereos

Non-working electronics with screen (computers and televisions): $15 each must be paid as recycling fee. 

Non-working large appliances (refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, etc.) are not accepted for recycling at Rummage in the Ramp, and must be recycled at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center: https://www.icgov.org/ewaste

Donate working items to Rummage in the Ramp. 

Small and large appliances: Accepted for donation at no charge. Must be clean and in working condition. Items may include: Microwaves , Refrigerators, Stoves/ovens, Washers/dryers, Lawnmowers, Coffee Makers, Toasters, Vacuums, etc. 

Electronics with no screen: Accepted for donation at no charge. Items may include: Printers, Cell phones, VCRs, DVD players, Stereos

Electronics with screen (computers and televisions): $15 each must be paid by donor whether item works or not. The fees cover the recycling costs for any electronics we don’t sell and for the non-working items.  If you do not care to pay the recycling fee, please take the item home. 

Other Available Donation and Resale Options

Please see the Iowa City Resale and Consignment Directory for year-round consignment and donation opportunities in Johnson County, or check directly with local human service agencies.

Cardboard Ban Reminder

Moving out? Remember that cardboard is banned from the Iowa City Landfill and must be recycled. This cardboard ban applies to anyone served by the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center including all of Johnson County, and the cities of Riverside and Kalona.

More information on the cardboard ban

Rummage in the Ramp 2018 Recap

The 12th annual Rummage in the Ramp event diverted more than 24 tons of materials from curbs and dumpsters, as more than 600 residents donated their still-usable items.

This year, 31 nonprofit groups volunteered during the event and will share the nearly $19,000 raised. Money raised will help these organizations continue their great work in the Iowa City community.

A glance at items diverted from the Landfill:

  • 89 couches 
  • 84 upholstered chairs
  • 130 coffee/end tables 
  • 190 small appliances
  • 264 bags or boxes of clothing

After more than a decade, Rummage in the Ramp has kept an estimated 289 tons of items from the Landfill. More than 26,000 people have purchased items, and some 2,300 volunteers have worked the event, sharing more than $187,000 to support their organizations. 

 A big thank you to the 2018 event sponsors Aero Rental and Party Shoppe, and Hy-Vee.


Contact Jane Wilch, Recycling Coordinator, at 319-887-6110 or email jane-wilch@iowa-city.org.