William B Meyer has announced that they have purchased a shredding truck and are now offering mobile shredding to their customers. This is in addition to the off site shredding that the company has offered in the past.
So what are the advantages of mobile shredding over plant shredding? (Yes, I am avoiding the confusing use of on site shredding.) Here are some reasons that you may choose to go with a mobile shredding service.
I have negotiable instruments. This is the single best reason to use mobile shredding. This is anything that can be used as a cash equivalents. Some common examples of this are coupons, un-used checks, stock certificates, and bond certificates. These should be witnessed by a company manager.
I want to see it destroyed. This is perfectly reasonable if you are the type of person who is very security conscious. You may avoid sending anything financial document if it is not be certified mail. It might also be you have suffered through identity theft and will go to any lengths to never have it happen again.
You are needing it for military documents. Most documents on a military base require the shredding to be witnessed by an officer.
Now that we have seen some good reasons to get mobile shredding what are some bad reasons.
The law requires it. There is not specific law that requires the shredding to be done in a mobile truck. Yes, that includes FACTA and HIPAA. They require reasonable measures but do not spell out a specific method for the destruction.
It is the only secure method. There is always a possibility that a truck will crash on the way to a shredding plant and expose documents; but that is a relatively minor threat for the time the truck is going to be on the road.
It is less expensive. In general it is less expensive to use a plant based shredding service since the equipment is bigger and more efficient.
So there are plenty of reasons to prefer mobile shredding. But make sure you are doing it for the right ones. Never let a sales person try to tell you what is and is not required by privacy laws.
Way back when the shredding industry was starting there was only one way to do shredding; at a plant. There was a large shredder that would be fed by employees. The documents were pickup up at the customers and then taken to the plant.
Then companies started putting shredders and generators into the back of trucks. That was the start of on site shredding. As time passed the trucks were upgraded and the shredders got much faster. The power now came from the drive train of the truck instead of a generator. To improve the volume carried by the truck the shreds aren’t collected in bags but fill the entire truck. This is done by moving the shredder to the top of the truck and and having the shreds just fall to the bottom. This also required a lift system to take the paper up to the top of the truck. These high speed shredding trucks were a giant leap forward for shredding.
Over the years the trucks have made many advances. The particle size can now be much smaller than the first shredding trucks. There are also more options for the size of trucks. There are some that are big enough to handle tons of paper on one trip. There are also options for smaller trucks that are more fuel efficient on long hauls and mountain roads.
While the idea of a shredding truck is very simple it is the name we use in the industry that seems to trip a lot of people up. This type of shredding is usually called on site shredding. The idea is that the reference point is that of the office. There are times when the believe (or are led to believe) that on site means at a shredding plant.
I think a much better way to name it is mobile shredding. That describes it perfectly without the confusion of what is on site and what is off site. Many people call in wanting to know the costs for mobile and on site shredding. We will continue to try and educate everyone we talk to about what is on and what is off site and maybe over time mobile shredding will win out and make it clear for everyone.
DeVries Business Service of Spokane, Washington has announced the acquisition of Green Shred of Pasco Washington. This acquisition expands the services of DeVries into northeast Oregon. It is also the fourth mobile shred truck in the companies fleet. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pat DeVries, President of DeVries Business Services said that Green Shred clients were looking for more services than just the mobile shredding the Green Shred offered. They are wanting to cross sell their document storage solutions to them.
There has been a move to integrate shredding into the rest of the records information management (RIM) industry for several years. It provides a cradle to grave solution for all the companies documents. As long as the company treats both services as unique then it will work out very well. The mistake that some people make is to treat shredding exactly like document storage services. They might not treat the smaller business with the same attention because they don’t have the hundreds of boxes that need shredded.
If you are having a problem getting great customer service out of your RIM provider we are happy to help. Shred Nations works with a variety of service providers. Each has their own advantages and we put you in contact with the best fit. That may be once a week or once a year. It can be one box serviced through Ship ‘n’ Shred or thousands of boxes shredded at your location. But what every request has in common is they are valuable documents to somebody. If they weren’t you would just leave them in the recycle bin.
Dewey & LeBoeuf is a large law firm that is in the process of going through chapter 11 bankruptcy. One of the things left for the bankruptcy court to decide is what happens to the firms legal files. They know of 100,000 boxes at a records storage facility in Brooklyn. That does not include all the records that are sure to be stored in the other 12 countries the law firms operated in. The issue for the court is that the firm already owes $500,000 in record storage fees and would like to stop any more expenses from piling up.
The firm has notified 4,500 clients that they have 45 days to pick up their files ore they will be disposed. The question is how all the documents are disposed. With a firm that is $300 million in debt is unable to pay for it. The question will need to be answered by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn.
This is a very sticky issue for the bankruptcy court. There will be a cost to shred all the documents but where does protecting clients come in on a list or priorities. Is it more important to pay creditors or hire the shredding service. Perhaps the best that can be achieved at this point is that most of the files are retrieved by the clients.
It is easy to play Monday morning quarterback here but one problem seems to be a lack of a document destruction program. There is little value for a law firm to be holding on to documents that are eighty years old. If they are maintaining all those records for their clients they are becoming a records storage service as much as a law firm. It is unlikely that the partners wanted into that business. Perhaps a better solution would be to move some of the documents back to the clients or doing annual purges of their archives.
The good news is that someone is taking the clients security into account. For most small businesses the client files are just left in the dumpster. It seemed like this was a daily occurrence as all the fly by night mortgage businesses went bankrupt in 2010 and 2011. Perhaps high profile cases like this can set a legal precedent.
The soap opera that is shredding for the City of Dallas is not over yet. Judge Clay Jenkins has worked to keep convicted criminals from handling the sensitive documents the city needs to destroy. But he hasn’t been able to finish the job because he can’t get votes for the move from commissioners John Wiley Price, Elba Garcia and Mike Cantrell.
What still makes this such an entertaining story is trying to figure out why anyone would want sensitive information in the hands of criminals. You would never find a shredding company that would hire someone who couldn’t pass a background check. It is a basic step for security. If the documents were not important they would just be recycled in whole sheet.
And why the stubbornness to leave the work as part of the community service program. Does this mean there is not a single piece of trash left in the entire Dallas County that they couldn’t pick up. There is not a single weed in a county park? There is not a single fence that could use a coat of paint. Moving this work to less sensitive areas seems to be quite reasonable.
So would the three commissioners like the criminals handling their sensitive information? I am guessing they would be very upset to learn that they are exposed to identity theft. It is a shame they don’t have the same concern for their constituents.
So three cheers to John Wiley Price, Elba Garcia and Mike Cantrell. They are the first politicians who think that running on a platform of more identity theft for everyone is the winning platform. But watching the story they are just putting petty politics ahead of the job they were elected to perform.
Volunteers at Miami Northwestern Senior High were alarmed to find student records and textbooks in a dumpster behind the school. Upon investigation it was learned that employees were told to clean out a storage area. Everything was just taken out to the dumpster. The spokesperson said it was a communication problem that led to the improper disposal.
I will leave commenting about throwing away textbooks that were never opened to those more interested in school budgets. My one comment would be that these have good fiber content have recycling value. At volumes they could be sold to a paper recycler.
More up our alley is the disposition of private information like what is in a student record. These were older records and contained social security numbers, addresses, and names. By leaving this information in the trash they exposed these past students to identity theft.
But based on how they describe what happened these records were not secured even before they were thrown away. If they were given the proper care then they would have been marked as confidential. This simple precaution would have prevented the exact error that led to their disposal.
Some basic security steps go a long way into data protection. Make sure sensitive information is always under lock and key. It should not be in a place that can be accessed by everyone in the company. Keep it in a secure location away from the storage for holiday decorations and broken chairs to prevent disposal errors.
If you are a medical practice then it is likely you are deluged with calls from people wanting to buy your x-rays. The reason for the increase is simple to explain. The silver market has exploded over the last few years. Silver is used in electronics and solar panels so the demand has increased. A cheap source for silver is to recycle it from old x-rays.
X-rays are put through a chemical bath of cyanide. The pure silver can then be removed from the solution. The cyanide can then be used again for the next batch of x-rays. The plastic is then just blank sheets and can be recycled. Some are even re-used for another x-ray.
The concern if for the information contained on the x-rays. Since it is patient data it is covered by HIPAA shredding requirements. It needs to be done in a secure manor so no information falls into the wrong hands. HIPAA is not specific as to how the material must be disposed of as long as it is a secure process.
Another concern is that you are getting a good price for your x-rays. There are several factors that will impact the value of your x-rays. The first is the price of silver. If you really wanted to get the most possible you could track the price and wait until it is at a peak. But unless you have tremendous amount this is likely more effort than it is worth.
The second factor is the volume. The secret to all recycling is to have a high volume. This helps cover all of the transportation costs. A few x-rays can be recycled but it isn’t enough for anyone to pay you for them. However, if you have pallets full then you will be able to market them to a range of buyers.
The third factor is the age of the x-rays. As time went buy x-rays were able to use less silver. That made them cheaper but also reduced their value as a recyclable. But the age of the x-rays is not something that you can control so we will move past this.
The fourth factor for the value of your material is how much preparation is required. If the x-rays are in sleeves then they will need to be removed. This can be done by your staff or the recycler can do it for a fee. It all comes down to your labor rates. But since there is patient data on the sleeve many people feel more comfortable performing this work before it leaves the office. Don’t forget to shred the sleeves.