The Pull Tab collection/reclying project was started in 2004 by Lion Kathy Barker and continues as  an on going project of the Club and District 4-L1 since then.

Recycling has been incorporated into the lifestyles of the rich and poor, old and young.  Whatever the reason recycling works and is important to our environment.

In 1987 a VFW Post in Minnesota started "pulling" the little tabs from soda, pet food, pudding cups, soups and other cans with a pull tab.  They raised $120 for the local Ronald McDonald House.  Little did they know they would be starting a recycling program that reaches across the United States.

Ronald McDonald Houses are built near hospitals to provide a "Home-away-from-Home" for families of children with serious illnesses being treated at the hospital.  The nominal cost to families staying at the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald house is $5 per night for those able to afford it. - ACTUAL cost to house the family is over $45 per night.  The money raised from recycling pull tabs helps defray these costs.

How it works:

  • Pull tabs are brought to the Ronald McDonald House by family, friends, schools, churches, businesses, and other organizations.
  • A local recycling center works with the House Volunteers to get the pull tabs to the center and they work out a top dollar value for the aluminum.
  • Pull tabs are cleaner and easier than collecting the entire can, and it does not compete with other recycling programs.  Also, tabs are more sanitary than the entire can – which is important in keeping the facility clean and healthy for guests. Cans may still be recycled without the pull tab.
  • District 4-L1 Lions Clubs support the Ronald McDonald House that services our area.  The Ronald McDonald House in San Bernardino, near Loma Linda.  Their staff consider this “found money”
  • In 2014, Collection of over 15,000 pounds of aluminum tabs, generated over $7,500 in recycling revenue for a Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland.
  • We can only recycle aluminum tabs, not plastic or steel tabs (as in some juice, power drinks or nutritional supplement cans).  Unfortunately, if the tab sticks to a magnet, we cannot use it.  Please check your tabs from soup and other cans - some are aluminum and can be used; others are steel and cannot. 

"How much is a Million?"  Collecting pull tabs is fun and can be educational!  Children can learn about large numbers and the physical associations by watching their collection grow.  They can also discuss metal recycling and its importance to the environment.   

Lessons such as, "How much is a million?", can be effective teaching tools.

Pull Tab Measurement Equivalents

  • 1 inch = 1 pull tab
  • 1 foot = 12 pull tabs
  • 1 meter = 40 pull tabs
  • 1 lb = 1,267 pull tabs
  • 1 km = 40,000 pull tabs
  • 1 mile = 63,360 pull tabs

Community schools, businesses, other clubs and individuals can help recycle pull tabs in support of Ronald McDonald House.  This is a 24/7 - 365 days a year recycling project.  Programs like this bring out the best in a community.  By pulling together, we can do more!  Your effort to collect something as small as a pull tab we added together with the rest of the community can make a big difference in someone’s life.

The type I silver aluminum pull tab (the normal pop can tab which accounts for 96.21% of the U.S. market) weighs in at about 0.65 pounds per thousand (0.0104 ounces each).  These tabs have no special value other than the fact that they are scrap aluminum. 

$100 worth of tabs at the national average of 75 cents per pound, would take up the space of a picnic cooler, where as $100 in aluminum cans would fill a good sized van.


The pop tab was invented by Mr. Ermal Cleon Fraze in 1962 and received a patent in 1963.  By June, 1963, 40 breweries were using pull-tabs.

Kettering's Fraze Pavillion, a popular amphitheater in Dayton, Ohio, is named after the pop tab inventor.

Ridgecrest and Trona Schools collect pull tabs for the club along with many, many community members, with 100 to 300 pounds a year being collected and taken to the Ronald MacDonal House at Loma Linda.






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