First community rummage sale is July 29-Aug. 2

With the aim of keeping good but discarded household items out of a landfill and encouraging their re-use, the university and city of Ames are co-hosting a "Rummage RAMPage" during the lease changeover window at the end of the month. It will be held at the Ames Intermodal Facility, 129 Hayward Ave. in campustown, over five days, July 29-Aug. 2.

The event is patterned after Iowa City's "Rummage in the Ramp," which marks its 10th year this summer. With the majority of rental leases ending July 31, Ames curbs frequently are stacked around that time with items discarded by renters moving elsewhere.

Five days at the ramp

July 29 (8 a.m.-8 p.m.), item drop-off, volunteer pickup service
July 30 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.), item drop-off, sale
July 31 (noon-6 p.m.), item drop-off, sale
Aug. 1 (noon-6 p.m.), sale
Aug. 2 (noon-4 p.m.), sale

"We'd like to get items with a useful need into peoples' hands and keep them out of the landfill," said ISU director of sustainability Merry Rankin. "It's exciting to offer this inaugural event in Ames."

Rankin said those donating may not make any money -- but they will help reduce waste in town and can claim a tax deduction. She said Iowa State students are a key audience for the event -- as both donators and recyclers -- but that anyone in town may participate.

Just the facts

Rummage RAMPage's five days are assigned like this:

  • 1 day on which volunteers will pick up items for the sale (prepaid fee of $10-$25): July 29
  • 3 days on which people may drop off their items at the sale location (for free): July 29-31
  • 4 days of sale: July 30-31, Aug. 1-2

The rummage sale will be held on the intermodal facility's lower levels. ISU parking director Mark Miller said intermodal permits will be honored during the sale; any affected permit holders will receive instructions about parking on another floor for those five days.

What's for sale

The Rummage RAMPage website includes a list of accepted and not accepted items. The former includes furniture, small electronics, flat screen televisions and housewares. (Nonperishable food collected will be delivered to local food pantries and towels, linens and blankets donated to area animal shelters.) Unaccepted items include mattresses, box springs, pillows, clothing, shoes, tube televisions, perishable foods, books, home and holiday décor and any item from the accepted list that is broken or beyond its useful life.

Rankin said prices intentionally are kept low to help place items where they can be used again. Most items will be priced at $1, $5, $10 or $20; cash only (no checks or credit cards). Neither the university nor city keeps the revenue. It is distributed proportionately among the local nonprofit agencies that commit in advance to provide the volunteer labor that really drives the event.

Rankin said volunteers are needed to:

  • Display and price items
  • Staff the sale
  • Help donators unload and shoppers load items into their vehicles
  • Pick up items for the sale (July 29 only)


The volunteer effort is being coordinated through the Volunteer Center of Story County. Nonprofit (501 c) agencies may register as a group. Individuals who want to volunteer may select which nonprofit they'd like to receive credit for their hours. Rankin said first-time volunteers should allow a few minutes to register in the volunteer center's database. All volunteer assignments are broken down by date, time and task.

Pick up service

For those without a means to deliver their items to the sale location, volunteer teams will pick up items, for a fee, on Friday, July 29 (8 a.m.-8 p.m., within Ames city limits). This service must be requested online and prepaid in advance. To discourage anyone from abusing the service as a free haul-away, the pickup fee is $10 for ISU students and $25 for non-students.

Shoppers who purchase furniture or other large items at the sale must transport their purchases; delivery service is not available.