Information Destruction Options

From On-Site Shredding To Recycling…What You Need To Know About Your Information Destruction Options

There are many information disposal options from which you may choose. You can hire a shredding service, purchase an office shredder or simply recycle. The cost of each option varies, as does the level of security. You can read about your options below or click on the link to see our video.

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Shedding Services

Shredding companies offer two types of shredding services, on-site and off-site. These services are similar in some respects because your documents and other confidential materials are placed in locked bins and then picked up at your location by a uniformed shredding company driver. Bins are usually provided free of charge and service is scheduled at regular intervals (usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly).

On-Site Shredding
Level of Security - On-site shredding offers the highest level of information security.

The Process - As the name implies, on-site shredding means that all confidential materials are shredded on-site, at your location. The hydraulic lift of a shredding truck raises a filled container and your confidential information is shredded in minutes. Because the process is automated, the driver never touches your confidential documents. We also recommend that you watch the shredding process from beginning to end, each and every time your materials are shredded. (Many high-tech shredding trucks have a camera and video monitor system.) This will ensure that all confidential information has indeed been shredded on-site.

Cost- Prices range from $60 to $85 per service.

Conclusion - If you want the highest level of information security, choose a company that is AAA NAID Certified for On-Site Shredding.

Click here to see a step-by-step preview of our On-Site Shredding process.

Off-Site Shredding
Level of Security - Off-site shredding is the least secure process that a shredding company can offer.

The Process - You probably know that off-site shredding companies bring your confidential documents back to their facility to be shredded. What you may not know is that off-site shredding companies also make a lot of money by recycling your discarded paper. But in order to get top dollar from the recycling companies, off-site shredding companies must first separate your white documents (like copy paper and stationery) from your colored documents (such as yellow legal paper and file folders). So if you choose an off-site shredding company you can be sure that their employees will hand sort all your confidential documents, allowing unwanted access to your confidential information. This process can expose your customers to identity theft and fraud...and expose your organization to severe fines, bad publicity and lost business.

Cost- Prices are usually lower than on-site shredding. They range from $55 to $65 per service.

Conclusion - If you are willing to sacrifice information security to save some money, off-site shredding may be right for your organization.

Alternatives to Shredding Companies:

Do-It-Yourself Shredding (The Office Shredder)
Level of Security – Office shredders offer limited information security.

The Process - Employees get rid of your confidential documents by “feeding the shredder.” Unfortunately, in many organizations, the person chosen to perform this task is an entry-level employee making near minimum wage. They are also the most likely candidates to steal confidential information for personal gain. In addition, most office shredders use a “strip shred” process that can leave large pieces of paper intact.

Cost - It sounds like a cost effective method, but when you consider that the average office shredder only shreds eight pages of paper at once, office shredding can easily take hours of employee time each and every week. Factor in wages and benefits, the initial cost of the shredder, plus upkeep of the equipment (blades have to be professionally sharpened) as well as depreciation of the shredder, do it yourself shredding can cost nearly twice as much as a shredding service. Click here for a cost comparison.

Conclusion - Do it yourself shredding should only be practiced by the smallest of businesses that have few, if any confidential documents that need to be shredded.

Recycling Companies
Level of Security - None. When a company gives away paper for recycling they relinquish all rights to the information. If confidential information was not properly shredded and it falls into the wrong hands, your organization will be held liable.

The Process - Recycling your confidential documents is a dangerous practice. Here’s why. Most recycling companies hire minimum wage workers who have not undergone criminal background checks or random drug testing. These workers sort your documents, often in unsupervised areas. Then the sorted paper is stored for days, weeks or even months, until there is enough to sell. Your confidential documents, still intact, are then baled and sold to the highest bidder, where they may be stored again for even longer periods, until they are finally used to make new products.

Cost - None. Many recycling companies will pay for your recycled paper.

Conclusion - Never give your confidential documents directly to a recycling company. If you’re concerned about the environment, use a shredding company that promises to recycle 100% of your shredded confidential documents.