paper shreds

Not all shredding services are equal, and while they all aim to perform secure shredding at your convenience, some are better suited for large jobs while others are more focused on ease-of-use. Discover which shredding service is the right one for your specific project with the video below.

Video Transcription

How Shredding Services Work

An Array of Shredding Options

When you have papers to shred, there are multiple ways of going about it and as you compare your options you probably want to know how each works.

There’s options like having mobile shredding trucks coming straight to you, or instead you can always drop your papers off at a local post office for a secure service to shred for you.

The amount of paper plays a big role in each service, and to find the best price and most efficient shredding option you should start with figuring out how much paper you have. The amount of paper is usually measured by the number of boxes (each weighs roughly 30 lbs).

How Much Needs Shredding?


  • Black plastic yard/leaf bag (1 box/30 lbs)
  • Tall white kitchen bag (1box/30 lbs)


  • 64 gallon bin (7 boxes/210 lbs)
  • 95 gallon bin (10 boxes/300 lbs)

File Boxes

  • Letter/legal (15″ x 12″ x 10″) – (1 box/30 lbs)
  • Large letter (24″ x 12″ x 10″) – (2 boxes/60 lbs)
  • Large legal (24″ x 15″ x 10″) – (3 boxes/90lbs)

Filing Cabinets

  • Vertical file cabinet 24″ drawer (per drawer, 1 box/30 lbs)
  • Horizontal file cabinet 30″ drawer (per drawer, 2 boxes/60 lbs)


  • Stacked 4 rows high (4 ft) – (50 boxes/1,500 lbs)
  • Stacked 5 rows high (5 ft) – (60 boxes/1,800 lbs)
  • Stacked 6 rows high (6 ft) – (72 boxes/2,160 lbs)

Best Shredding Options & Quality Based on Quantity

Typically there are three main shredding methods: mobile, drop off, and offsite shredding.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages—mobile shredding can bring shred trucks directly to you, while low volumes dropping off paper is cheapest and easiest, and for 300 lbs+ projects, there’s cost-efficient offsite options.

As the amount of paper you have increases, your ideal services based on pricing change. On average, drop off is $1/lb, mobile is $100 for up to 300 lbs, and offsite is $60-$75 for a similar 300 lb project.

Note: Shredding pricing can vary based on where you’re located, who you choose for your project, or if additional steps need to be taken before or during destruction.


How Each Service Works

Drop Off Shredding

  1. First, visit any one of Shred Nations’ drop off locations at a nearby UPS or other local pack and ship store
  2. You bring in the documents to shred and drop them off in a secure lock box to store until they’re shredded
  3. Trucks make periodic stops at locations to collect and shred dropped off documents
  4. The shreds are pulped and recycled, and you wash your hands of a shredding job now easily done.

Mobile Shredding

  1. You receive locking shred bins to store paper between service
  2. After requesting service, shred trucks are sent to shred your paper on-site
  3. Trucks shred at the curbside where you can witness the destruction. The shreds are then recycled at a facility.
  4. You receive a formal certificate of destruction certifying HIPAA & FACTA compliance for your records

Offsite Shredding

  1. You receive locking shred bins to store paper between service
  2. After requesting service, a truck is sent to pick up your documents instead of shredding on-site
  3. Papers are shredded and co-mingled at an offsite shredding facility before being pulped and recycled.
  4. You’re provided a certificate of destruction for your records.

Certificates of Destruction

Once most shredding services are complete, they’re wrapped up with the presentation of a certificate of destruction.

Certificates give not only your own assurance that the shredding was done securely, they also serve as proof of destruction for when companies need to prove compliance with laws like HIPAA during an audit.

Certificates of destruction detail information including:

  • a unique, serialized transaction number to track during audits
  • transfer and chain of custody
  • date information was collected and date destroyed
  • destruction location
  • destruction witness
  • terms and conditions of client and company for materials processing
  • company acceptance of fiduciary responsibility and agreement that everything is considered confidential

Certificate of Destruction Example

If you’ve ever asked about your document destruction practices and policies for legal purposes, you can find all the information you need here.

Certificate of Destruction Sample

Sample Certificate of Destruction


Need the Best Shredding Option to Match Your Project?

Join in with Allstate, The Red Cross, Disney and other companies who’ve found their shredding accommodations that can match your budget, schedule, and other special needs to get your shredding done right.

To get your free, no-obligation quotes from local shredding providers near you, give us a call at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form on the right.