Time | Security | Money | Alternate Options
Shredding your files keeps your private information safe, but what is the best way to do this? Find out why shredding your paperwork in a small home or office shredder might cost more than you think, and not provide the best solution to your privacy or legal compliance needs.
Does Do It Yourself Shredding Save Money?
Buy. Repair. Replace. | Time is Money | How Do You Dispose Shreds?
Oftentimes the initial assumption for shredding is that rather than paying each time, buying your own shredder up front and doing the shredding yourself will avoid extra costs.
At first glance this might seem like enough to go for do it yourself shredding, but many people don’t realize some of the hidden costs and other baggage that comes with it.
Office Shredders Break Down Too
Even if you buy an inexpensive shredder, there are other costs besides the purchase that come with owning:
- Maintenance costs when shredder break down
- Replacement costs when the shredder breaks completely
Wasted Time is Wasted Money
Taking the time to push back you chair and stop to shred for 5 minutes may seem insignificant, but over time it adds up quickly.
For an easy example, if you had only 10 employees shredding for 5 minutes a day, by the end of the year just over 215 hours would’ve been spent on shredding.
Then multiply that by hourly wages and you can really begin to see how do it yourself shredding’s indirect costs stack up.
What to Do After You Shred
Once trash is on the curbside or in the dumpster it’s public property. If someone steals the shred and reassembles them, your attempt to protect your information is undone.
The safe alternative is recycling paper, but most facilities don’t accept shreds—meaning if you shred yourself you’re gambling with your security.
The Self-Shredding Slowdown
Remove Clips and Bindings | Sheets Per Pass Capacity
There’s the money directly lost on time (wages) spent on self-shredding, but the extra time needed also takes time away from productive work.
Taking 5 minutes out of a day to shred seems small, but when you shred yourself, other time-consuming steps can mean in 5 minutes you might spend more time preparing than shredding.
Pull Staples and Clips to Shred Yourself
Unless you make the investment in a heavy-duty $5,000+ shredder, most personal shredder need every single clip or binding removed to prevent jams.
Shredder jams make the process even slower, and on top of that, small shredders can only handle so many papers at a time—adding even more time to your shredding process.
Maximum Sheets Per Pass Limits
Beside not being able to shred staples, shredders have a sheets per pass capacity. On average most personal shredders can handle 5-20 sheets at a time, and shredders around $3,000 can do 50.
To put that in perspective a banker’s box can hold 2,500 sheet of paper, and by comparison, an industrial shredder on the other hand can che3w through 20,000 pounds of paper per hour.
Risks of Trading Security for Savings
Paper Shred Reassembling | Proof of Destruction Compliance
Do it yourself shredding comes with much higher risks for identity theft, data breaches, and legal noncompliance.
Since trash is public property, it opens the door for thieves to steal and reassemble shreds when you throw them in a dumpster.
When you shred without proof of destruction you risk not complying with regulations, and if anything is breached, the fines you’ll pay will overshadow any of your saving by miles.
Thieves Reassemble Paper Shreds
Although they’re torn up, paper shreds can be reassembled by dedicated thieves who steal them from the trash.
Strip-cut shredders put you at most risk for being put back together, but even cross-cut can be reassembled.
Recycling fully destroys them when they’re pulped and reused—but the only problem is recycling facilities don’t accept shreds except for partner services with large amounts of shreds.
Proving You Comply With Destruction Laws
Many industries have laws that regulate the use and disposal of sensitive information. HIPAA is a well-known example with specific destruction schedules for different information.
But even when you shred everything yourself and follow the law down to the T—there’s nothing to prove your compliance.
Instead, shredding services provide a Certificate of Destruction as a receipt of service, giving you a compliance audit trail and proof of HIPAA compliance.
Renting a Shredder | Free Shredding Events | Dropping Your Files Off
Renting a Shredder
One alternative to buying a shredder is renting one. When you rent a shredder, you’re renting a heavy-duty industrial shredder.
Not only are industrial shredders able to shred up to 20,000 pounds of paper per hour, they’re built into a mobile shred truck.
Shred trucks come directly to you to shred your documents while you watch so you can be sure information stays secure.
Going to Local Shredding Events
One of the main reasons people go for do it yourself shredding is because it seems like the cheapest option.
Instead of shredding yourself, there are free shredding events that are often held in local communities.
By just showing up and having your papers shredded by the rented truck for the event, you can save both time and money when you shred.
Dropping Off Your Paper Instead
Another common reason for do it yourself shredding is because of the time it takes to schedule with a shredding service, which is where drop off shredding comes in.
Instead of scheduling, you just walk in and simply drop off your paper—and the best part is you can find a location at nearly every UPS or shipping store near you.
Need an Alternative to Do It Yourself Shredding?
Find cheaper, faster, and more secure shredding options with Shred Nations. Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form on the right for free quotes on shredding services from professionals in your area.