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Johnson County Admin Building

Example surplus item at Johnson County Administration Building

Rendering of the new Administration Building, from: Remodel information | Johnson County (

Johnson County Admin Building by Josh Ventling, Area 4

The Johnson County Administration Building is currently undergoing major upgrades. The $7,352,000 remodel funded by General Funds and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will prepare Johnson County to provide higher-quality services to county residents for decades to come.

Everything that was in the administration building, which included the Board of Supervisors Office, Treasurer’s Office, Recorder’s Office, Auditor’s Office, Human Resources, Planning, Development and Sustainability, and both the County Assessor and City Assessor offices, are temporarily located across the street in the Health and Human Services building for the duration of the remodel.

Although the remodel is set to last until summer 2024, work was scheduled to begin in the fall of 2023, which came with a firm date for Johnson County departments to move into their temporary location.

While dozens of items were taken for reuse internally by other county departments and offices, another dozen, primarily heavy, items (furniture, filing cabinets, etc.) from the administration building would no longer be needed. Without the capacity to transport any of these items, no good option of an interim storage location, and a short time frame to work with, Johnson County board and sustainability staff reached out to Iowa Waste Exchange Representative for Region 4, Josh Ventling, to provide assistance. The goal was to find qualified nonprofits and public charities who could use the various items that were not going to be reused internally.

After outreach in the Iowa City area, a vast majority of the surplus items were matched with local non-profits, including Field to Family, Table to Table, and the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The ReStore was literally a heavy lifter on this, hauling away virtually all the heavy metal furniture (pictured on the right) including a large, antique metal cabinet from the 1800s. Johnson County was very pleased to have avoided the landfill and carried out their sustainability goals. This exchange has saved the receiving organizations over $5,000 in avoided purchases.

IWE Success Stories