The Truth About Pop Tabs

Why Pop Tabs?

Unlike what the urban legend says, pop tabs do not support medical treatment of any kind including chemotherapy or dialysis; however, pop tabs do support the operations of Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. This popular fundraiser benefits seriously ill or injured children by helping provide a “home away from home” for them and their families while they are hospitalized or receiving outpatient medical treatment.

The tab of an aluminum can is pure aluminum unlike the rest of the can which consists of mostly recycled aluminum and other residue. Recycled aluminum, at this point, pays a higher rate of return than just the tabs alone. The Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House recycles both aluminum cans and pop tabs.

Some facts you should know before you start collecting:

  • 1 Pop Tab is approximately 1 inch long
  • 1,267 Pop Tabs make 1 pound
  • 1 pound of Pop Tabs can be sold for about 27 cents
  • If you must mail them to the Ronald McDonald House, a package weighing a pound costs more than $3.27 to mail. In other words, it really isn’t cost effective to mail them.

Where does the money go?

Funds from the sale of recycled aluminum cans and pop tabs help support the programs of Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Charity operates four programs: the Ronald McDonald House which welcomes 500 families each year; the Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Children’s Hospital at Erlanger which provides a day respite area for the families of hospitalized patients in Children’s, Erlanger or Siskin Hospitals, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a school-based mobile medical clinic operating in Bradley and Polk Counties, and the RMHC Scholarship Program which provides 50, $1,000 freshman year scholarships to area high schools' seniors. Because of the generous support of so many in the Chattanooga and surrounding areas, no one is ever turned away because of their inability to pay. For more information, please contact Jane Kaylor, (423) 778-4331.

How to participate:

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga does not have the staff or resources to pick up Pop Tab collections; however, we do have a collection site at our physical location, 200 Central Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Upon request, we can provide collection boxes for your pop tabs or you can create your own containers. You can drop off your tabs between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm at the Ronald McDonald House. If you or your group would like a tour of the Ronald McDonald House when you bring your tabs, please contact us to arrange a date and time. Pop Tab donations are not tax-deductible and are not acknowledged.