Published On: Thu, May 29th, 2014

Tangeman donates over a half million pop tabs


OMAHA — Wausa resident Don Tangeman has reached his longtime goal of collecting a half million pop and beer tabs and donating them to the Ronald McDonald House, Omaha.

He received a certificate from the Ronald McDonald House, stating that he has brought in 525,000 tabs.

Tangeman started taking tabs off of cans in 1981.

“After hearing about the Ronald McDonald House in Omaha, it just seemed like the thing to do.” Tangeman said.

“My two boys, Douglas and Rodney, and I have been picking up cans since 1975, never giving it a thought of how many tabs I might do. I would sit in my garage day after day, many evenings and lots of weekends just de-tabbing cans.”

After Tangeman had taken in about 200,000 tabs, the manager of the Ronald McDonald House took him on a complete tour of the entire facility. As the tabs come in, they are put in an old farm truck in the basement, which has a drive out door to the back.

If the truck is filled four times in a year, the money they get will pay all of their utilities for one year. The tabs are 100 percent pure aluminum. They haul them to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where they get a very good price per pound for the load.

The Ronald McDonald House is a place where parents and family can stay free while their children are in the hospital, for as long as they need to be. They have beautiful bedrooms, TV and free meals for those who need it.

“After I had brought in 400,000, I thought why don’t I set a goal of one half million? After 33 years, I got to 525,000 tabs.” Tangeman said. “You would have to fill 40 and a half five gallon buckets, as there are about 13,000 tabs in each one.”

Tangeman did not comment as to whether he has a new goal in mind.