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

Planning request in County of Wetaskiwin changed at last minute

County of Wetaskiwin council balks at changes that weren’t made public

MLA Smith meets Harper, Scheer at Calgary Stampede

Thorsby alumnus Chad Harden competes at the big rodeo

Letter: P.M. needs to do real work

Wetaskiwin writer says apologizing isn’t a job

Breton RCMP seek motorist who may have witnessed crime

Breton RCMP requesting public assistance in identifying suspects of break and enter

County of Wetaskiwin officers deal with large road ban violations

County CPO notices erratic driver in Wetaskiwin

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Vintage vehicle subject of RCMP search

Two Hills RCMP seek to identify owner of recovered 1940’s vehicle

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Most Read