small shredding checklist

There are many options available when it comes to choosing when, where, and how to shred your documents. For small-scale projects with less than 10 boxes, there are three options: mobile shredding, drop-off shredding, or using a personal shredder.

Choosing which option is right for your needs depends on what you prioritize most: cost, time, or security.


In many cases, mobile shredding will offer the best balance of cost and convenience. In general, however, the best option in terms of cost will depend on how much material you have to shred.

Shredding Your Files Yourself is CostlyMobile Shredding

Mobile shredding is perfect for projects between 3 and 10 boxes, and costs a flat rate of about $100 for up to 300 pounds. In addition to paper, mobile shredding trucks can usually also handle shredding data storage devices like hard drives.

Drop-off Paper Shredding

Drop-off paper shredding costs on average about $1 per pound. A standard copy paper box holds about 30 pounds of paper, so each box will cost about $30 to shred. If you have more than 3 to 5 boxes to shred, the price of drop-off shredding may make mobile shredding the better option.

Personal Shredding

Just one secure personal or office shredder that uses a cross-cut or micro-shredding pattern can cost $100 or more. Personal shredders also have a much smaller capacity than mobile or drop-off shredding services, and because you may need multiple personal shredders in a single space, the cost of do-it-yourself shredding can quickly add up.


If you’re most concerned about getting the shredding done quickly and efficiently, mobile shredding is still the most competitive option.

Shredding trucksSave time with shredding trucks are capable of handling up to 7,000 pounds of material per hour, meaning that even a project of 10 boxes can take only minutes to process. Drop-off shredding is also an attractive option because you can choose when and where to drop-off your documents for shredding.

Personal shredders, on the other hand, may not save any time at all. Most personal shredders have relatively low shredding times before they overheat and can only handle a few pages at a time. With maintenance and repair costs, a personal shredder quickly becomes a time sink instead of a time saver.


Protecting the information in your shredded documents is an important part of the shredding process. While drop-off shredding services offer a secure location to bring and deposit your documents for shredding, and expensive personal shredders with complex shred patterns can be secure enough against even the best puzzle-solving criminal, mobile shredding trucks offer the most security.

Because the shredding truck comes to you, mobile shredding offers the unique opportunity to witness the shredding yourself. Physically destroying a hard drive with a mobile shredding truck is also more secure than alternative data destruction methods; the data on a reformatted hard drive can still be recovered using special software.

Need Help Choosing an Option?

Shred Nations partners with shredding services all across North America. Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out our form for a free quote on secure shredding from multiple providers in your area.