Pop Tabs for Charity?
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Collect Pop-Tabs From Soft Drink Cans for Charity-Truth! & Fiction!

 

 

 

Summary of eRumor:
There are various eRumors about fund-raising projects that involve collecting and recycling pop-tabs from soft drink cans.
 

The Truth:
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 to 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.  

One charity told us that a truckload of cans yields about $10 at the recycler while a truckload of tabs yields about $1,000.

It seems to depend, however, on which recycling company you're dealing with.  Some of them don't accept tabs for recycling.

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 some pop tab projects, however, and some have done 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.


updated 11/20/01

A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

 


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