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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Why do people save those damn pop can tabs?

Why do people save those damn pop can tabs?
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Eug
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Mar 19, 2003, 10:57 AM
 
I've seen people asking for pop can tabs to collect for charitable organizations as donations, thinking that the charities can then recycle them for $.

AFAIK, nobody is going to pay money for pop can tabs. So what's the point?

At best, a recycler will take them and pay you nothing. At worst, they won't even take them, and thus you have to dump them anyways.

Am I mistaken, or are these pop can tab collectors just out to lunch?
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 11:04 AM
 
Originally posted by Eug:
I've seen people asking for pop can tabs to collect for charitable organizations as donations, thinking that the charities can then recycle them for $.

AFAIK, nobody is going to pay money for pop can tabs. So what's the point?

At best, a recycler will take them and pay you nothing. At worst, they won't even take them, and thus you have to dump them anyways.

Am I mistaken, or are these pop can tab collectors just out to lunch?
Actually, some recycle places DO pay for scrap metal. Aluminum can parts included. They don't pay much, though.

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Mar 19, 2003, 11:09 AM
 
Yea, 40kg will get you $2.37.
     
Eug  (op)
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Mar 19, 2003, 11:12 AM
 
Originally posted by boots:
Actually, some recycle places DO pay for scrap metal. Aluminum can parts included. They don't pay much, though.
OK maybe, but my guess is that you'd have to have many BARRELs full of pop can tabs to even get, say, $10.

What I'm talking about is kids and their moms going around collecting pop can tabs in a 2 L bottle, and hoping that a charity is gonna be able to do something with it.

I've seen this several times now.
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 11:19 AM
 
Originally posted by Eug:
OK maybe, but my guess is that you'd have to have many BARRELs full of pop can tabs to even get, say, $10.

What I'm talking about is kids and their moms going around collecting pop can tabs in a 2 L bottle, and hoping that a charity is gonna be able to do something with it.

I've seen this several times now.
I wasn't saying it is a great idea.

Maybe the particular charity has a deal with a recycling company. Kind like Cambells and the soup labels.

For the company, it's a tax write-off.

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Eug  (op)
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Mar 19, 2003, 03:13 PM
 
Ah, so you're saying there is NO practical reason (other than PR and tax writeoffs) to collect tabs removed from cans that are going to be recycled anyway.

I agree, it's stupid.
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 03:32 PM
 
It's not stupid. It's a gimmick. The kids collect the can tabs, and people donate money based on the number collected. At least that's how my wife tells it, I can get her to clarify when she gets home.
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Mar 19, 2003, 04:09 PM
 
I also know people who use to save the foil in cigarette packages. They said they could sell a ball of it and they made wheelchairs out of it.

In grade 9 some chick had a ball the size of a tennis ball of the stuff.

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Mar 19, 2003, 04:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Severed Hand of Skywalker:
I also know people who use to save the foil in cigarette packages. They said they could sell a ball of it and they made wheelchairs out of it.

In grade 9 some chick had a ball the size of a tennis ball of the stuff.
Yup, pop can tabs and foil can be used to make wheelchair parts, thats why people collect them here in ontario at least. Though I'm not sure where you turn them in to.

Chris
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 04:32 PM
 
double post
     
Eug  (op)
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Mar 19, 2003, 04:44 PM
 
Originally posted by dampeoples:
It's not stupid. It's a gimmick. The kids collect the can tabs, and people donate money based on the number collected. At least that's how my wife tells it, I can get her to clarify when she gets home.
So what happens to the tabs? And who donates the money?

The sad part is that some people donate the tabs, and the chuck the cans into the garbage.

Yup, pop can tabs and foil can be used to make wheelchair parts, thats why people collect them here in ontario at least. Though I'm not sure where you turn them in to.
I live in Ontario. AFAIK there are no places that collect foil balls and pop can tabs specifically for wheelchairs.
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 04:49 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug:

I live in Ontario. AFAIK there are no places that collect foil balls and pop can tabs specifically for wheelchairs.
Hence me not knowing where they go

Maybe people just like the *plink* sound when you pull the tab off the can Then with lack of a better plan, they just pocket it and make an excuse, like oh ... say... a charity thing


Chris
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 04:51 PM
 
Originally posted by Eug:
So what happens to the tabs? And who donates the money?
She jsut got home and doesn't know that part of the story, other than the tabs are probably thrown in the recycling bin, and some charity apparently donates the money. That's the last time I use her as a reference
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Mar 19, 2003, 05:27 PM
 
Now, come on, all you Canadians posting in this thread should be able to make a guess at who's taking part in collecting ALUMINUM pull tabs. Alcan maybe? I remember when I worked for them, occasionally a truck load of those stupid pop-tops would come in and go to remelt, and when I asked about it, I was told it was part of charity collection campaign. I don't know the specifics of how it worked, as to how the pay out was made, but I know they were involved.
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Mar 19, 2003, 06:21 PM
 
I save the tabs just to see how much I drink... Ends up being to much for me to waste my time counting.
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Mar 19, 2003, 07:23 PM
 
It's a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald house.

Link
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 08:08 PM
 
I heard they got used to make wheelchair parts also. My grandma collected those religiously.
     
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Mar 19, 2003, 11:00 PM
 
I remember my old highschool having a jar to collect pop tabs. In Ontario also. I never knew what it was for, just threw the occasional tab in there.
     
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Mar 20, 2003, 12:06 AM
 
Originally, this was an urban legend, that Ronald McDonald House, or some other charity collected them.

Then, because so many people kept bringing them to Ronald McDonald House, they started accepting them, recycling.

So, it's an odd twist of urban legend-turned-real life.
If this post is in the Lounge forum, it is likely to be my own opinion, and not representative of the position of MacNN.com.

     
Eug  (op)
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Mar 20, 2003, 11:10 AM
 
Originally posted by vmarks:
Originally, this was an urban legend, that Ronald McDonald House, or some other charity collected them.

Then, because so many people kept bringing them to Ronald McDonald House, they started accepting them, recycling.

So, it's an odd twist of urban legend-turned-real life.
Interesting. So I dug a little deeper a I dredged up this:

"There isn't any way of classifying all of the tab collection projects as Truth! or Fiction!

It is best to check with the charity that is named in the email and confirm the story.

Since pop tabs are aluminum and can be recycled, there are fund-raising projects that collect them and donate the proceeds to charity. Why the tabs and not the whole can? Because the tabs are pure aluminum, as opposed to the cans, which have paint on them and some recyclers don't like the residue of the soda pop inside. Also, you can store and transport more tabs than would be occupied by cans using the same space. One charity told us that a truckload of cans yields about $10 at the recycler while a truckload of tabs yields about $1,000.

The reason there is any question about pop tab projects, however, is that one of the oldest and most widely circulated urban legends involves the alleged collection of pop tabs to be donated to the National Kidney Foundation for helping pay for dialysis treatments for kidney patients. The National Kidney Foundation says it does not have, and has never had, a pop-tab collection project and that it isn't really needed since, at the moment, Medicare typically pays for 80 percent of the cost of dialysis time, regardless of the age of the patient. Private insurance and state programs usually pay for the remaining 20 percent.

There are many pop tab projects, however, and some have done very well.

Tabs for Wheelchairs, a successful effort in Canada, actually got started because of an urban legend. TruthOrFiction.com spoke with Jack Baumber of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 229 in Elora, Ontario, Canada. He has led a tab collection effort since 1989 that has donated more than 400 wheelchairs to people who need them. He says it all got started when he heard that tabs were being collected to provide a wheelchair for a 4-year-old girl. He and others accumulated some tabs, only to find out that the whole thing was a rumor and there was no such project. He decided to see how much the tabs they had collected were worth at a recycling plant and that inspired him to turn the rumor into reality. He says he gets tabs from all over the world.

There are also some Ronald McDonald houses that conduct pop tab collection campaigns."


But, also note this:

"Back when 15-year-old Elizabeth Bohli was in the third grade, she had a friend who had a friend who had leukemia. Word was that the sick girl's doctor told her about a program in which the Coca-Cola Co. would pay for one chemotherapy session for every 1,000 aluminum pop-tops collected.

Elizabeth remembered that program when her 12-year-old sister, Jenny, was diagnosed with melanoma in September, and a massive collection drive began at Pelham High School.

For two months, students, teachers and parents brought in thousands of the tiny aluminum objects.

Soon, other schools were calling, asking how they could donate their pop-tops. Word spread to churches, which eagerly jumped in to help. And one friend told another, and another and another.

Since then, the pop-tops campaign has gone, well, a little over the top. As of this week, more than 276,000 had been collected.

And they're still pouring in.

But none of that metal will translate into free treatments for Jenny. "It was just an old myth," she said this week.

Jenny's mother, Jo, called Coca-Cola recently, feeling as though she held a winning lottery ticket in her hands. Then she asked how she could cash in the pop-tops for money to pay for her daughter's immunotherapy treatments.

At first, there was laughter. Then the voice on the other end told her there's no such program."


Next time someone asks you to donate a few pull-tabs for a good cause, donate a few facts instead. You'll be doing everyone a favor.
I guess the bottom line is that there ARE some good programs out there, but a lot of this tab-pulling stuff is just misinformation. If you're going to donate, check the specifics first.
     
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Mar 20, 2003, 03:08 PM
 
I remember a local church collecting them a while back....

Some company was willing to give XX dollars for every pound of tabs to some cause... and then would recycle them.

I don't think there is a central cause behind it... but it's an easy thing to collect, rather than hard cash. They have some value... and area an easy thing to collect. Everyone drinks something in can. So it's easy to do.

It's a way for a company to give back to the community, and for the community to rally for something. Rather than just issue a check... the community can get involved and participate.

Kind of a cool idea.
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Eug  (op)
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Mar 20, 2003, 03:23 PM
 
Originally posted by macvillage.net:
I remember a local church collecting them a while back....

Some company was willing to give XX dollars for every pound of tabs to some cause... and then would recycle them.

I don't think there is a central cause behind it... but it's an easy thing to collect, rather than hard cash. They have some value... and area an easy thing to collect. Everyone drinks something in can. So it's easy to do.

It's a way for a company to give back to the community, and for the community to rally for something. Rather than just issue a check... the community can get involved and participate.

Kind of a cool idea.
Of course, it's hellulalot easier and better to recycle the entire can and donate a couple of bux at the same time.

This tab-saving thing is just a gimmick which still seems like a big waste of effort to me. But that's just my opinion.
     
   
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