Medford man's nearly 3 million pop tabs going to Ronald McDonald - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Medford man's nearly 3 million pop tabs going to Ronald McDonald House

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MEDFORD, Minn. (KTTC) -

Nearly 3 million and counting! And about 2,000 pounds! A Medford man boasts quite the collection of pop tabs, and he's doing it for a good cause.

Jim Spinler, 75, said it all started when a friend stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester about 30 years ago.

"His son had to stay in Rochester. He had a kidney infection," Spinler recalled.

Seeing how the Ronald McDonald House helped his friend, Spinler decided to start collecting pop tabs to support the organization. 

"It's something that everybody should do -- some charity work. And that's what I'm doing is a charity work. I don't want no money out of it. I don't want nothing out of it," said Spinler.

Spinler -- the owner of Jim's Garbage Service before retiring about 11 years ago -- now has more than 2.7 million pop tabs in his collection, and he stores them in a massive transparent box that measures 6 feet wide, 4 feet high and 4 feet deep.

"People just can't believe it," Spinler said. "I'm starting to believe it. But it's still so hard. You know, I never dreamed of having this much. Really proud of myself."

Spinler collected a lot of the tabs himself. But his collection couldn't have grown to what it is today without donations from the community.

"The other day, I had nine ice cream pails full of tabs brought down here from one family," Spinler said. "I just enjoy it."

When his box gets filled to the brim, there will be about 3 million pop tabs in all. Spinler will then display them in the annual Straight River Days parade next June, before donating them to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester.

As for what happens after he donates his collection, Spinler replied, "I might still keep on going as long as I'm still alive... To make somebody happy was worth it."

Pop tabs generate between $10,000 to $15,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester each year, according to its website. You can drop off pop tabs seven days a week at 850 2nd St. SW.

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