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Rummage RAMPage Raises over $33,000; Diverts Tons of Items from Landfill, Helps Non-Profits

Post Date:08/12/2019 12:00 PM
The fourth annual Rummage RAMPage, a community rummage sale designed to keep reusable items out of the waste stream, surpassed previous years in landfill diversion totals and proceeds generated. The event, which grew to nine days, diverted 116,424 pounds of furniture and housewares from the landfill and raised $33,194 for local non-profit agencies. In its fourth year, Rummage RAMPage increased proceeds by almost $15,000 and diverted an additional seven tons of materials when compared to results from 2018.Rummage RAMPage 2019 Logo
 
The City of Ames, in partnership with the ISU Office of Sustainability and with assistance from the Volunteer Center of Story County, held the sale from July 26 to Aug. 3 at the Ames Intermodal Facility, 129 Hayward Ave. This year’s event spanned two weekends and was assisted by 22 non-profit groups who sent volunteers.
 
“This year’s event was truly exceptional in all aspects – donations, sales, and volunteers,” said Merry Rankin, ISU Sustainability Director and City of Ames Sustainability Coordinator. “The success or failure of Rummage RAMPage rests in the hands of the community, and once again, the response was overwhelming. This was a phenomenal show of support.”
 
Because many leases in Ames terminate at the end of July, relocating ISU students and community members often discard items that may still be useable. During these weeks, the City of Ames Resource Recovery Plant (RRP) often sees an influx of couches, wooden furniture, clothing, and more as renters attempt to meet their move-out requirements. At the same time, new students moving in are often in need of furniture and household essentials. Rummage RAMPage is an annual, collaborative effort designed to pair unwanted items with others seeking low-cost options for furnishing a home.
 
“Every year at this time we see working, usable items piling up near trash bins, on curbsides, or in front yards. At the same time, we know other people are looking for these items,” said Bill Schmitt, Resource Recovery Plant Superintendent. “We are working hard to make the community aware that Rummage RAMPage provides a location to donate unwanted items so others can purchase them. The proceeds raised are passed along to non-profit agencies who provide the labor and allow us to run this event for so many days.”
 
Residents could donate furniture and housewares to the event through the second-to-last day. The last day of the event was a half-price day. Volunteers representing 22 volunteer organizations staffed more than 400 shifts during the event and provided more than 1,200 hours of volunteer labor. The non-profits will share the proceeds based on the amount of hours of donated labor.
 
Organizers stressed that collaboration with Iowa State University was critical to securing the Ames Intermodal Facility as a site, and the Volunteer Center of Story County organized the volunteers. For the second year, Story County Conservation, Iowa Wildlife Center, Ames Animal Shelter and others partnered to offer an opportunity to rehome pets that might otherwise be released into the wild. Non-native fish and animals can die or damage the environment when released. Two turtles were rehomed during the event.
 
Donations accepted at the event included couches, futons, bed frames, chairs, tables, desks, coffee tables, small electronics, lamps, toasters, microwaves, blenders, fans, plates, silverware, glasses, pots/pans, baking sheets, miscellaneous utensils, and other housewares. Most items were priced $1 to $50. Linens, bedding, clothing, books, unused food, and school supplies were accepted on behalf of other organizations and distributed to local agencies including the Ames Animal Shelter, Goodwill, and the Ames Public Library.
 
“We were able to keep 140 sofas, 138 upholstered chairs, 65 tables, and 33,000 pounds of housewares from going to the landfill,” Schmitt said. “The end result was that we landfilled less than 2 percent of the total weight of donated items. This helps our recycling and processing of materials at the Resource Recovery facility.”
 
Due to the success of the event, organizers are already planning to hold a Rummage RAMPage 2020. Please watch the City of Ames website for details about the 2020 event at www.cityofames.org/RummageRAMPage
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