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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo submitted/ Rita-anne Fuss
Distancing Diamond Project in Millet for mental health

Distancing Diamonds allow for social distancing community gathering.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

The death of 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze of Edmonton has now been ruled a homicide following an ongoing RCMP investigation.
UPDATE: RCMP arrest youth for second degree murder of 19-year-old Jacob Chitze

Arrest made for the murder of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19.

Pumpkins for the 46th Annual WDACS Pumpkin Ball on display at Vision Credit Union Wetaskiwin. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
46th Annual Pumpkin Ball held virtually this year

This year the pumpkins were sold over a six-day online auction.

Manny’s Motel demolition underway. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
Manny’s Motel demolition underway

The property has been vacant since the fire that destroyed most of the structure Jan.14, 2020.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Front-line hospital workers have walked off the job at the Rimbey Hospital, and across the province. Photo Submitted
Front-line health care workers on strike across the province, including Rimbey Hospital

The strike is due to cut of 11,000 health care jobs in the province, according to AUPE

(Black Press file photo)
Maskwacis RCMP welcomes new detachment commander

The Maskwacis RCMP detachment has a new detachment commander, Inspector Leanne MacMillan.… Continue reading

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

Most Read