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« Aid Groups Redeploy from Aceh to Yogyakarta Earthquake Site | Main | Charity Assortment: Five Flavors of Fraud »


Robert Tolmach

You might also note the amount McDonalds receives for each pound of aluminum and therefore the tiny amount they receive for each pop top.


I think the Ronald McDonald House effort for Chicago is great - I know that they get quite a bit of money (over $35,000 annually I was told). Since so many "intermediary" groups collect the tabs for them (like classrooms at schools and scout troops, etc)they can't store "whole" cans or deal with some of the sanitary issues arising from cans that aren't rinsed.

The pop tab effort, in addition to raising funds, also raises friends. It is a great way to tezch our children the value of giving back in an easy and simple way. I don't understand why anyone would denegrate this effort??????

Joyce Leevard

I have colected pop tabs. But now that i read that they don't even help the kidney kids where can i send them and actualy collect them for some charity who actualy is wanting them? Or do you no of anything else that any charity is wanting to get collected so i can collect something that is going to help?.


hello i want to send some pop tops to help others where should i got?

Ann Belzone

I would like to know if there is any place near my home of Bloomingdale, Il. 60108 where I can donate the pull tabs from cans?

B Peterson

I think this article is ridiculous. To imply that Ronald McDonald house exerts the "least amount of effort" is to ignore the tremendous amount of effort they make in helping children with incurable diseases. It's ludicrous to criticize them for not spending their money to handle the logistics required to wash and store whole aluminum cans. I also wouldn't consider $35,000 per year worthless. I suggest to do as our organization does and donate the pop tops to the Ronald McDonald house and recycle the rest of the can.


Is anyone really paying for the poptops?? If so then where do I cash them in in R.I. to help the cancer paitents here??? Thank you.....

Sara Risley

I am the Community Outreach Manager for the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana. We raised OVER $66,000 from POP TABS alone during 2005, and about the same amount (if not more) last year.......

The project is alive and very well here in Indiana!!!! It is true that we DO NOT have the facilities for cans. In fact, we hardly have space for all of the tabs we receive, thanks to our incredible donors. Currently, we send 4-5 MILLION pop tabs to the recycler about every-other week. Our program is about 11 years-old, and we are hoping to hit our 1 BILLION pop tab mark some time this Fall. Please help us to do this by bringing your tabs to our House or mailing them to 435 Limestone St., Indianapolis, IN 46202....Attn: Sara Risley. Or, come to our third annual "Pop Tab Drop on Monument Circle" to be held on July 27th. We have a goal of collecting 8 million pop tabs in 4 hours!!! For more information, please call 317-269-2247. Thank you for your support in this very simple, yet extremely important fundraiser!!


The pop tab collection originally started in Minnesota for the Ronald McDonald house here, when I was in elementary school. They gave us each little boxes to put our pop tabs in, and we would bring them to school. What is also important is that our state is big on recycling, so we would rinse out our cans, pull the tab off, and recycle the remaining can.
I think it is a great program. If you are going to recycle something anyway, what does it hurt to give one small piece to McDonald's so they can provide services for sick children and their families?

Paul Musgrave

RMH is a great charity, doing wonderful stuff. BUT: Why not clear up this urban myth by telling folks to take the WHOLE CAN to a recylcing center and send the money to RMH. With 32 cans providing the same cash as almost 1300 tabs, the revenue increase would be HUGE! One more time: It's the same metal in the tab as in the can. BTW, on their own website, they say 400 million tabs has generated 4 million dollars. I think that works out to a dollar for each 100 tabs, which is clearly not accurate since right now, 1300 tabs (a pound) is worth about 40 cents. But those 1300 CANS could have generated $16.25. Do the math!

Diane Rieger

Oh My Gosh..... I have been saving soda can tabs now for over a year... per a request from a church member... quess I will just take them in with my next soda can recycle... thanks for the info! Myth Buster!!!!
Diane in La Center Washington ;]


For Pete's sake people! If something as small as collecting pop tabs can bring a community together, whether it is a church, a school, or any other community, then let's not make them feel like their efforts are wasted!!! I for one have been collecting tabs for 20 years. So have my brother and his rugby team. I don't care if a million tabs only brings 10 cents, that would be 10 cents more than what was had!!! Don't be so negative. Either collect or don't collect, just let those of us that want to feel like we are making a difference continue to do so, without so many comments fromt the Peanut Gallery! THANK YOU to all of you who have collected so many already...Keep up the good work!


where can i take the pop top that i have i the northwest suburbs of illinois


I am all for doing charitable work, but for pete sake. Stop and think about this. The metal in a pop top is not more valuable than the can. Take a minute and figure out the math. One million pop tops is roughly $400, one million pennies is $10,000. You are better off sending them a penny than a pop top. Leave the pop tops on the can, recycle the cans at your local facility, and send as much of the procedes as you wish to any charity that you wish. Just because we are thinking with out hearts, doesn't mean we should stop thinking with our brains. I commend all of you that have worked so hard, but to continue to save the pop tops is just silly. If you have pop tops now, take them to a local facility to recycle. Then start saving the whole can, and your neighbor's cans, and cans of family and friends who will bag them but are too lazy to take them to a facility. Then you will really have some money you can donate! Can you imagine if the people who spent all the time, energy, natural resources, and money to save and send millions of pop tops had simply recycled the can locally and sent that money to charity. They literally could have helped millions more people than they did.

allie greene

my family and I colect tabs. Whenwe count them up we sit in the garrage for hours and bond over counting pop top tabs!


If you have a favorite charity, I suggest that you send it money. That's money, not stuffed animals, not pop tops, not fingernail clippings. Send money.


the tab is pure aluminum while the can has various metals thats why the tabs are collected. i think this is a wonderful idea and participate most of us throw away soda cans anyways why not take the tab off?

tammy potter

I have been saving pop tabs for years, cause someone I used to work with said that a friend of hers donates them to charity. She said that for every gallon donated a child will receive a chemotherapy treatment. Have I been jipped? Is there anything in Richmond Kentucky like that. If not, is there anything in Richmond that i can donate my tabs to?


I volunteer at a RMH in Atlanta by preparing meals once every month or so. When we were given the "grand tour" we were told that the pull tab brings more money per pound because it's easier to process than a can. Maybe that all leads back to the sterilization factor, but I would think anything that's hot enough to melt aluminum would be hot enough to burn off any paint, soda or beer residue and the occasional cigarette butt. Just my $0.02.


Fact: The metal in an aluminum can is only slightly different in composition than the pop top.

Fact: The recycling centers do not seperate the top from the can.

Fact: If you turn in pop tops at a recycling center they throw them in with the cans.

Fact: The recycling centers will not give more money for the pop tops than the regular price per pound for the whole can.

Fact: Any monies given to Ronald McDonald's House goes toward helping children, not just the money gained from the ignorant that waste time and money sending them pop tops when they could have recycled the WHOLE CAN at their local facility. The only reason McDonald's still takes them is because they couldn't get people to stop believing the Urban Legend. There are alot of people out there that love to continue a good Urban Legend.

For those who want more explaination, I suggest Urban Legends at SNOOPS.com

Sometimes it is not enough to work hard, in today's world we need to work smart. I appreciate the bonding that one family is doing, but wouldn't it be better to bond while doing something that made an impact in someones life and not just a piddling. How great would your children feel if they really made a difference in someones life instead of pretending that they are. I hope that we eventually get to a place where it is the norm to recycle all of our waste and not just what seems fun or convenient.


There are some very negative people posting on this subject.
If it gets kids involved to collect for a charity, where's the negative? Here's a link to a news story about some local kids collecting for RMH. http://www.local6.com/news/15957442/detail.html


So the smarter thing to do would be to collect pop cans and take them to a recycling center that pays for them and then donate the money to the Ronald McDonald House.


This may be an urban legend in US, BUT NOT for the rest of the world.

The Prosthesis Foundation of Thailand is the proof that this can not only be done but that the artificial legs are sturdy too. It has been using tabs and other recyclable stuff to make artificial legs for the last 13 years.

The foundation has so far produced 16,000 legs for the disabled in Thailand and close to 400 legs for those in need in Malaysia.

For details, please read.





Richard & Lillian Neal posted a comment on April 29, 2007 at 08:40 PM indicating that the program "raised OVER $66,000 from POP TABS alone during 2005" and "send 4-5 MILLION pop tabs to the recycler about every-other week".

Let's do the math, the tab contains about 1/40th of the metal in a can.
The whole can is worth about 5 cents.
They send 4 million tabs every other week, which means every other week they are shipping half a million dollars worth of aluminum to recycling center.
Multiplied over a course of a year, that ends up being 13 million dollars worth of aluminum being recycled by Richard & Lillian Neal's charity program.
They mentioned that in 2005 they raised $66000, which is only 0.5% of the actual 13 million dollars.
Where is the rest of the money? Either they're lying about the numbers, or someone at Ronald McDonald house is getting rich at YOUR expense.

This sounds to me like a charity to help Ronald get a new 13 million dollar luxury yacht every year.


Corrections: That should be Sara Risley instead of Richard & Lillian Neal in my post about the disappearing money.

Also, turns out that's 13 million cents, not 13 million dollars, which still ends up being $130000, which is still way off from the reported $66000. So, Sara Risley is the one responsible for the disappearing money.

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