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Shredding


GLJEANNE
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I know a lot of you are all -digital, but for those who still deal in lots of paper - how do you handle shredding?  I used to use a service that would come out every couple years with the shredder truck, and do it onsite.  Now they've sold out to a national firm, and for various reasons that service is no longer an option from anyone.

What services do you use?  Are you happy with it?  I have a hard time picturing letting them drive away with boxes of returns and information, but maybe it's just because it's different from how I've done it forever.

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I'm going to try a local shredding truck for a bunch of old boxes of files from the days before I scanned almost everything. My current shredder that I use just for day to day shredding takes forever to shred old papers and files because it only shreds about 10 pages at a time without stopping. It is a micro shredder and then we compost or burn the shred when it's full.

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Spouse does it in December.  When we moved I was still shredding a lot of back files, but he’s gotten caught up so it’s just the fourth year files that get done every year.  He likes it because he gets a decent paycheck in December!

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We're fortunate that our area provides free shredding days throughout the year.  Various not for profit groups in our town and surrounding towns hold these events.  In some cases, our state representatives and government entities also hold them.  I look for when these events are offered and use them for my shredding needs.  A local shredding vendor also has set hours where they offer shredding services for $10 a box.  

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I do it myself.  I don't have as much these days with the scanning.  I got all the back paper files shredded long ago.  I have a small office and keep a box under my desk foot area.  When the box fills up, I bag it and take home where I keep my shredder.

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When my parents were alive, we burned the files in their wood stove.  Now, i mostly shred in office with a small shredder but it does take considerable time and we do tend to go through shredders more frequently than I would like. 

There used to be a recycling operation in the large city we are closest to that would allow us to take shredding there and watch it actually go through the shredder.  My husband did that sometimes for the bank he used to work for, but I have no idea how expensive it was or if they will still allow you on site to watch. 

My personal shredding we do take when the local news channel has a shredding day, but since they just load everything in a truck to take to the shredding plant, I am reluctant to do that with client files  I am sure they would not have the time or inclination to look through the documents, but I would hate for something to blow off of the truck that contained my client information. 

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Between burning up shredders on a regular basis, plus labor to shred, bag and drive to recycling, we found it was much cheaper to hire a service. They want to come once a month but we can skip every other month so only pay a nominal fee 6x per year.

But like you said, we have very little to shred these days as we keep very few paper records, so it's more about recycling than security.

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1 hour ago, Abby Normal said:

Between burning up shredders on a regular basis, plus labor to shred, bag and drive to recycling, we found it was much cheaper to hire a service. They want to come once a month but we can skip every other month so only pay a nominal fee 6x per year.

But like you said, we have very little to shred these days as we keep very few paper records, so it's more about recycling than security.

Do you have a service that shreds on-site, or do they haul away your boxes?

Shredding days and doing it ourselves aren't an option for a variety reasons, so I guess the big question is, how do you feel about a service where they just take all the unshredded returns back to their plant to shred?  The idea of putting that info in someone else's hands gives me nightmares, but that seems to be the only choice days.

I like the idea of teaming up with another office, though that would be a post-Covid option, when I could hire someone to lift boxes into my car and then ride along to carry them into the other office.

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I would only consider a shred on site service or a carry in site where I could observe the shredding.

Currently I am on my third office shredder. Once I upgraded to a heavy duty 20 page shredder, it's lasted for years now.

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Our office uses Shredit.  They come once a month and shred on site.  We scan everything and return all original docs to clients, but we still have paper (handwritten notes, our routing sheets for each client, calendars, anything with the client's name on it, etc).  The free and gov't shred days usually exclude businesses. 

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Ok, glad I wasn't just being paranoid.  I'll put it all on the back burner for now, and see how things look in the summer.  I was really surprised no one would come out with the shredder truck, but some of that could be due to Covid and its labor shortages, so maybe I'll have better luck in the warmer weather.  Thanks all.

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On 1/21/2022 at 7:55 AM, Gail in Virginia said:

When my parents were alive, we burned the files in their wood stove.  Now, i mostly shred in office with a small shredder but it does take considerable time and we do tend to go through shredders more frequently than I would like. 

There used to be a recycling operation in the large city we are closest to that would allow us to take shredding there and watch it actually go through the shredder.  My husband did that sometimes for the bank he used to work for, but I have no idea how expensive it was or if they will still allow you on site to watch. 

My personal shredding we do take when the local news channel has a shredding day, but since they just load everything in a truck to take to the shredding plant, I am reluctant to do that with client files  I am sure they would not have the time or inclination to look through the documents, but I would hate for something to blow off of the truck that contained my client information. 

I know this isn't what anyone wants to hear, but though I do some in-office shredding; we have an outdoors wood burner  for heat and my husband's job is to take boxes full at a time and immediately burn in wood burner.  Since I am a paper person, this is MY perfect solution and those old files do double duty.

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I have 1-2 boxes per year and I just take them to my wife's employer (a major university) when they have their yearly shredding event. My bank also has events for free and Office Depot has a shredding service for pay.

About 2 years ago I had a company come out and we cleaned out 12 filing cabinets with old useless files. I have about 30 huge binders / ledgers from the 1940's that are freakishly heavy duty (and 7" thick) and need to be destroyed but my co-worker is against it for now. If i did it, I doubt he'd even notice. He can't even physically lift them.

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I keep on top of small everyday shredding in the office. Fro the big once or twice a year purge, I pack it into boxes and call Ship'N'Shred. They pick up, shred, and send me a Certificate of Destruction the next day. They will also do hard drives and other media, too, but I've never tried those.

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