MIDDLETON, NS - When Brian Neville opens a can of pop it might mean a bit more to him than it does to most. He sees those tiny little tabs as money to help people in the community.
So does Angie Cress who owns the Big Scoop Restaurant.
When they loaded up the pop can tabs on the back of Neville’s truck and in his trailer they discovered they had filled 89 16-litre buckets over the past two years.
The aluminum pop can tabs will be hauled to a local scrap yard and the money generated will be handed over to the local Lions Club whose members will use it to purchase such things as crutches and wheelchairs for people in need.
“This started about seven years ago now, and it took us five years to collect enough tabs in order to get a lot to turn in. We turn it in to the scrap dealer. We take the money and give it to the Middleton Lions Club who then buy equipment for people who can’t afford to get it,” said Neville as he stood with the loaded trucked and trailer in front of the Big Scoop.
He said it took about five years to get the first batch. The second bunch of buckets only took two years. Neville, past-president of the Middleton Rotary Club, has a bit of help.
“We have a number of groups that support us,” he said, “there’s the 4-H club in Lawrencetown, there’s the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts, plus the Big Scoop really does a fantastic job, because they collect the most.”
Neville filled 33 buckets. The Big Scoop filled 56.
“That makes up this pile that you see right here,” he said. “They (Big Scoop) also do it with the foil wrapping on their sandwiches. They have a tub inside here that people donate to and I have one at my house that people donate to, and the Middleton Rotary Club collects them as well.”
“This campaign wouldn’t be the success it is without our customers and friends collecting these little tabs throughout the Valley and beyond,” said Cress. “To some, these tabs are just a piece of metal, but to us, they are a very important for a campaign that we strongly believe in. We are a strong supporter for our community so if we can help out, we are definitely in.”
She said some customers are a bit sceptical.
“To be honest I was skeptical at first, but now I know what these little tabs could do for someone in need,” she said. “If you want to help with our wheelchair campaign, please drop off your tabs in our bucket that is located inside our front door. We would really appreciate it”.
“It’s something that costs us nothing but it has so much value for people who need it,” said Neville. “This should realize, we think, somewhere around maybe $700. We’re not sure exactly. The trouble is, the price of aluminum has gone down recently and it makes it a little difficult. You can’t hang onto it forever. I think we have something like seven or eight hundred dollars’ worth here.”
The last time the Big Scoop turned over their pop can tabs -- almost 50 buckets two years ago -- Annapolis MLA Stephen McNeil read a resolution in the Nova Scotia Legislature praising the effort.