Eight years after Wheaton’s Wiesbrook Elementary School teacher Elaine Cimino first had her second-grade students start collecting pop-tabs for charity, their goal of one million tabs (a whopping 800 pounds of aluminum) was reached at the end of the 2012-2013 school year, the Daily Herald reports.
According to the paper, students would spend Friday afternoons counting and bagging the collected tabs into 500-tab sandwich bags, which Cimino would store in her garage—at least, up until halfway to the goal, when there were too many boxes to handle, and she started turning them in.
Contrary to a persistent rumor, pop-tabs are not particularly valuable—only worth about 3-5 cents per 100, according to Snopes—but McDonald’s does accept and redeem them as scrap metal to help fund their Ronald McDonald House Charities, and should collect nearly $500 from the 800 pounds of aluminum tabs, doubled to nearly $1,000 with a charitable match by United Scrap, the Herald said.
"That was a big project we undertook," Cimino told the paper. "I never imagined it would be an eight-year project, but it was… It's been fun but we're going to find new ways to help for a few years. Eight years and one million tabs is a lot."