Rummage in the Ramp
Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp, 415 E Washington St — runs Thursday, July 26 to Saturday, August 4
It’s an annual event as central to life in Iowa City as the return of the swallows is to San Juan Capistrano, California (or the return of the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio): the great apartment shuffle, as old leases expire at the end of July and new leases begin in August. And once again this year, anyone looking to donate items instead of moving them can bring those items to Rummage in the Ramp in the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp.
“We see people moving out that don’t know what to do with stuff, so they end up putting it at the curb. We see people moving in that don’t have stuff and Rummage offers an opportunity for both of those parties,” said Jane Wilch, recycling coordinator for Iowa City.
Rummage-goers can donate or buy items including clothes, books, furniture, housewares and other items. Everything will be priced $20 or less.
While most items in good shape are accepted as donations, Rummage in the Ramp will not accept mattresses, broken electronics or appliances. However, there will be an electronics recycling option on site — for a fee, Rummage will take defunct electronics off your hands.
This year there’s a photo contest and the winner will receive a $25 credit for Rummage in the Ramp. To participate, just follow the City of Iowa City on Instagram and post a picture of your favorite Rummage in the Ramp find using the hashtag #RummageInTheRamp. On the first day of the event, one winner will be randomly selected.
Environmental and human services groups will volunteer for the 10-day event and the profits will be split among them. “Right now we’ve got probably around 20 groups and it’s anything from University of Iowa sororities to environmental organizations to churches to non-profits,” Wilch said.
Rummage in the Ramp has had a mission to reuse items and keep them out of landfills since 2007. Over 11 years, 265 tons of reusable items have been donated and bought at the sale. A total of $168,300 has been raised since Rummage in the Ramp began, which has been donated to the non-profit groups that have worked the event.
“[T]he wonderful thing is we get all these different groups that aren’t necessarily waste or environmentally-oriented and we get them involved in a waste reduction effort,” Wilch said. “And then the beautiful part about it is that all the money that we make at this event that’s reducing waste … goes back to all those groups that volunteered.”
People living within city limits who have large items to donate and no way to get them to the ramp, can sign up online to have the items picked up. There are a limited number of pick-ups available and the service costs $11.
Rummage in the Ramp cannot accept donations early, but they do provide a directory on their page for Iowa City consignment shops.
The hours of the rummage sale vary by the day. Monday through Friday, sale hours are noon to 7 p.m. Hours are the same on Sunday. On Saturday, July 28, hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 4.