While the most common way to get rid of incriminating letters in a novel is to burn them it has not been very popular for businesses and organizations for many years. There are several reasons why:
- Shredded paper can be recycled.
- Burning paper releases carbons into the atmosphere
- It is dangerous if not done properly.
- It is against the law in most urban areas.
- It is more expensive than just hiring a shredding company.
But the DC Police see it differently. Last month a dumpster was discovered at the police academy with burning police records. After the fire department was called more records were discovered
in a nearby abandoned car.
It all sounds fishy but Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier says it is perfectly normal for the department. She said it is an approved method for getting rid of documents. But union Chairman Kristopher Baumann sees it a bit differently. He says, “The idea that in 2012, that we throw personnel records [in the trash] and light them on fire and hope for the best is unacceptable.”
While burning is an effective way to destroy documents it needs to have the same safeguards in place as any destruction program. There should be a written policy for the retention of the various types of documents the business produces. The destruction of the documents should take place on a regular schedule. The destruction should be monitored by manager and then what was destroyed must be documented. It is this organized, planned, and monitored destruction program that prevents organizations from running afoul of record retention laws.
We now have to add another person is goes through trash cans along with competitors, recyclers, identity thieves, and passerbys. The new type of person is artists.
An artist going my the moniker XVALA has gone through the trash of Silicon Valley executives and created sculptures of what he found. The press release issued by the gallery implies that some finds will be embarrasing for the executive.
The good news for most of us is we are not the targets than an executive is. The bad news is the other groups of people are still going through the trash. Don’t forget to shred everything with personal information.
Ipsos Public Affairs has released their Information Security Tracker survey. The survey is of executives and owners about their information security opinions and practices. The sample size was 1,136 small business owners and 100 executives at companies over 500 employees.
The results are not too far from what you would have expected. 95% of the executives were aware of data security laws while only 77% of their counterparts at small businesses were familiar.
About a third of small businesses did not have information security procedures in place. Roughly the same number provided no training to employees concerning security. There was not much change in the results from last year.
The difference is that large companies often have employees on staff who handle data security. This can be the IT department or a records management person. Small business don’t have the time to spend managing their records when they are working full time to keep the business running.
That is why many business owners prefer to move the burden to a third party. A outsourced document shredding company can take on the regulatory burden. They make sure the work is done in an efficient and secure manor. There is not the threat of documents ending up in the trash when it is made convenient for employees.
If there is no one responsible for managing the shredding it is just another burden on employees that may or may not get done on a daily basis. If never checked it becomes too much to shred and it winds up in the trash. This is where security breaches happen. It is just easier to have everything shredded rather than take the risk.
A Shred Ahead has expanded their service territory through the acquisition of Shred Master of Dallas, Texas. A Shred Ahead is a regional shredding company offering service to the southeast. Their headquarters are in Durham, North Carolina. Financial details of the agreement were not released.
Shred Master was started in 2005 by Jeanne Hulebaus. The company offers on site shredding to the Dallas Metroplex.
A Shred Ahead says they plan to continue to grow through acquisitions. Their focus continues to be on the southern United States.
There appears to be some maturing in the shredding industry. While there are new companies coming in to the market there is more of a move to consolidation. There are three bands of providers now. There is a number of companies that service single metropolitan areas. Then there are the regional players like A Shred Ahead. Finally there are a few national providers. And now we know that Recall will continue to be one of them. To have a healthy industry there is a need for all three.
It was just a month ago that there were only two bidders left for Recall. At the time it looked like Shred-it had the inside track but Cintas was still lurking in the background. Now we know that no company was able to meet the reserve that Brambles had for the US records storage and document shredding service.
To help pay down the debt they had planned to do with the sale of Recall; Brambles is issuing $432.3 million in new shares. Brambles is the world leader in wooden pallets and wanted to focus on its core business. Chairman Graham Kraehe said that the offers “did not reflect its value.”
So now the biggest piece that was in play is off the market. I hope for the employees at Recall that it will bring them some stability. The company has gone through a series of different goals over the last five years as Brambles has vacillated between wanting to keep and wanting to sell Recall. It is probably not a stretch to think they are now going to ramp up their marketing efforts. The goal is no longer to reduce expenses to drive up short term profit.
Document management remains a competitive market. Regional players are still growing to compete with the national providers. This can be done organically or through acquisition. It looks like this summer is going to be a busy one for mergers and acquisitions. So keep your seat belts on and tuned in to Shred Nations as we report on it all.
Boxes, boxes everywhere but how much to be shred? The biggest thing that will impact the cost of the shredding job is how much needs to be done. The cost per pound decreases as the total size of the job increases. It will cost around a dollar per pound for a couple of pounds and will get down to ten cents per pound when there are warehouses to be destroyed.
So if pricing is based on volume how can you determine your volume? The most common way to store paper is in boxes. Normally that is in file storage boxes. Their exact dimensions are 10″ x 12″ x 15″. This is the most popular size because legal paper fits in one direction and letter size in the other direction. If you fill one of these boxes up it will weigh around 30 pounds.
File boxes have a number of different names. Some people like to call them bankers boxes. But like so many other common names that is just a brand or file boxes. If you are at the moving store they call them book boxes or small moving boxes. But they are the same dimensions of a file box. Once again y ou will have 30 pounds of paper when full.
The second type of box that people store files in are commonly called transfile boxes. Their exact dimensions are 10″ x 12″ x 24″. These hold 50 pounds of paper when full.
The third common type of box is a gaylord box. These are used in industrial situations are always set on top of pallets. These are also called tri-wall corrugated boxes. Unless you have a warehouse you won’t have these laying about. But if you wanted to know they average around 1,000 pounds of paper.
So now you know more than you ever wanted to about boxes. But if your paper is not in boxes then don’t worry. We can get your volume from a number of file cabinets or bags also. The only thing we can’t estimate from is the amount of time you have been collecting or the age of the documents. This is simply because every office generates paper at a different rate.