A weekend packed with good deals and new furniture for many students has also created an opportunity to reduce the number of items falling into the waste cycle.
Rummage RAMPage began its sales Saturday at the Ames Intermodal Facility parking ramp and will continue through Aug 2. The event sold various items ranging from kitchen appliances to furniture.
Rummage RAMPage is an event created by the city of Ames and the Office of Sustainability at Iowa State in efforts to reduce the amount of materials that fall into the waste cycle.
“There is so much material that you see this time of year that gets abandoned on the curb, and it still has good use of life — a lot of that material ends up in the landfill,” Bill Schmitt, Resource Recovery Superintendent for the city of Ames, said. “So this is a way to keep the material out of the landfill and still keep it useful.”
Last year — according to the city's website — in 2017, Rummage RAMPage prevented 102,550 pounds of furniture and household materials from the landfill as well as raising $18,607 for local non-profit agencies. The non-profit organizations secure at least 10 hours of volunteer time to share proceeds of the event.
Lina Rodriguez and Anna Testen were at the event looking for a “good bargain” — as Testen just finished graduate school — and said they preferred used items over new items.
“For me, I don’t need new," Testen said. "If it’s good enough quality and it’s used, it’s perfectly fine for me. I don’t like the 'throw away' culture we have.”
Upcycling is the process of converting old and worn materials to items that are useful for the next person, and many at the Rummage RAMPage have found it to be a preferred method of decorating.
Rodriguez had found a loose leaf tea infuser as well as a small pitcher for coffee at Rummage RAMPage.
“Well, I think there is a lot of a culture that everything is at your fingerprints, and you just order everything, and it will be in the next day in your home,” Rodriguez said. “So instead, I can just repurpose some of these things.”
Visitors at the event could either drop off unwanted items or buy them. Most of the items were marked $1 to $75 — the higher price being for antiques.
Many visitors saw Rummage RAMPage as an opportunity to buy materials for move-in day for their apartments. Students at Iowa State and DMACC were looking for furniture with their roommates.
Merry Rankin, the director for the Office of Sustainability, said she enjoys having visitors find homes for the donated items.
“People [are] so excited about finding items that they need and seeing so many items that would have been landfilled finding a new home,” Rankin said.
DMACC student Anna Campbell said she came to Rummage RAMPage with her boyfriend and to look for furniture that is “reasonably priced.”
“It’s a little bit of everything, and you can probably find stuff, and it will go to a good cause,” Campbell said.
The items included furniture from couches to desks to beds as well as small electronics. The items were sectioned and priced based on the value, there is also a bargaining and antique section which included items that could use some fixing and older items.
Rummage RAMPage will continue through Friday, noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday will be the final sale day with half-price items.