A New Place For All That Excess Halloween Candy

Pipestone Flyer

Halloween is an exciting time for kids. As your little princesses, pirates, zombies and vampires drag their precious haul of trick-or-treat candy to the table, you do your best as a parent to be sensible. You realize that all those sugary goodies—including some that may not be the best quality— is just too much! But what can be done with the excess?

Dr. Sean Bhasin of Spearmint Dental in SW Edmonton has introduced a unique solution that rewards healthy dental choices and responsible disposal with Spearmint Dental’s 1st Annual Halloween Candy Buy-Back. It is the first of its kind for Edmonton. Bhasin first learned of the program while living in the U.S., where participating dentists and orthodontists started a Halloween candy buy-back initiative for a buck a pound. The candy was then donated to the Operation Gratitude care package program and shipped to U.S. troops serving overseas. The buy-back program went national in 2007 with about 300 dentists participating. Now, seven years later, over 2,500 dentists and orthodontists from across North America are participating in similar or independent efforts, including the participating cities of Calgary, Lethbridge and Vancouver.

Here in Edmonton, 771 students of the Monsignor Fee Otterson Elementary-Junior High School and just over 1000 students of the Johnny Bright Elementary- Junior High School were invited to bring in their excess candy to the dental office on November 1. Drs. Bhasin, Dewar and Kern offered to reward the children $1 for every one pound of candy, up to eight pounds, which is probably more than it cost to manufacture some of the treats. Each child was entered in a draw to win an iPad. In addition, the two participating schools will receive a minimum of $500.

As word of the program spread, several families also came from Leduc, Fort Saskatchewan, and St. Albert to participate. “In fact, one little girl from St. Albert donated her Halloween candy buy-back money for cancer research,” said Terri Mavin who works the front desk.

“Parents think it’s great idea and are happy to get the extra candy off their hands because they eat it as well.” All the children who participated were extremely excited to receive their flashing LED toothbrushes, prizes, and healthy snacks—cheese and crackers and apple treats.

Dr. Bhasin finds Halloween to be an exciting and fun festival. “It also happens to be extremely profitable for the candy manufacturers, but all that sugar is the real nightmare on our kids’ oral and overall health. We want to celebrate Halloween with our kids by taking some of that sugar off their hands while leaving all the fun behind.”

Over 400 pounds of candy was received. What will be done with all that candy? Office Manager Anne Kenyon said Spearmint Dental will ensure that the candy is disposed of responsibly by taking it to Edmonton’s premiere clean tech company, Enerkem, where it will be processed into biofuel.

Spearmint Dental is already looking forward to running next year’s Halloween candy buy-back. Slowly but surely, as Kenyon says, it is becoming a movement.

Pictured: Dr. Decay lounges with the candy received during Spearmint Dental’s 1st Halloween Candy Buy-Back, sponsored by Spearmint Dental. Photo by Terri Mavin

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin gravel hauling rates getting boost

Councilors vote to increase haul rate from $0.149 to $0.186 per tonne km

Wetaskiwin RCMP inspector ‘not surprised’ with Crime Severity Index

Inspector puts Maclean’s ‘Most Dangerous’ feature into perspective

UPDATED Two dead after head-on collision near Millet

UPDATED Wetaskiwin RCMP investigating, one dies at hospital

Wetaskiwin Chamber luncheon cancelled Nov. 16

Bad weather, icy roads mean benefits talk rescheduled for January

City of Wetaskiwin didn’t apply utility hikes to bills

Clerical financial error discovered by Wetaskiwin city council

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Searchers in California wildfire step up efforts; 77 dead

Trump arrived at the oceanside conclave Saturday afternoon after visiting Northern California to survey the wildfire damage in the town of Paradise.

Trump says ‘no reason’ for him to hear Khashoggi death tape

“It’s a suffering tape, it’s a terrible tape. I’ve been fully briefed on it, there’s no reason for me to hear it,” Trump said in the interview.

Canada Post calls for ‘cooling off’ period to allow for mediated talks

The proposal came as Canada Post workers continued their rotating strikes Monday after rejecting the Crown agency’s latest offer.

Metro Vancouver homicide detectives busy after separate weekend deaths

Homicide detectives in Metro Vancouver are investigating separate cases involving two deaths they say appear to be either targeted or suspicious.

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Most Read