June 07, 2021

The True Cost of DIY Paper Shredding

Even with the pervasive use of technology across industries, secure paper shredding is still a necessity for businesses to ensure safe disposal of confidential documents that are no longer needed. You may think it’s easier and more cost effective to handle your company’s paper shredding internally. However, there are hidden costs with a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach, which make it less economical than you might think. Some areas where hidden costs can emerge include:

  • Security. If sensitive documents are not completely destroyed during disposal, you could be increasing the chances of data theft and compliance violations. Standard home office shredders aren’t as thorough with their destruction process, cutting paper into vertical or horizontal strips, which can be easily reassembled. When paper is shredded in this manner and then thrown into a regular dumpster, thieves can potentially recover and reconstruct documents to use for nefarious purposes, putting you or your company at risk. 
  • Productivity. Every minute staff spend prepping and feeding paper through an office shredder is time they are not spending on mission-critical tasks, and this could cost your company money. DIY shredding is a multistep process. Since most generic shredders can’t accept anything but paper, staff must spend time removing staples and paper clips and arranging documents into manageable piles. Then there is the time spent feeding paper into the machine, emptying waste bins, and addressing any spillage. Paper jams—which are frequent in office shredders—can further slow productivity, costing your organization even more.
  • Equipment. In addition to paying for staff time, you also have the expense of purchasing, maintaining, and repairing equipment. Depending on the volume of paper you need to shred, these outlays can add up quickly.
  • Worker safety. Office and personal use shredders can present a worker safety risk. When not operated properly, people can get their hands caught, resulting in serious injuries ranging from lacerations to finger amputations. If a staff person is injured at work, there can be OSHA, workers’ compensation, and other ramifications, which can have a significant impact on your business.

A Different Approach Could Deliver a Stronger ROI

When you work with an organization that provides certified document destruction such as Stericycle’s Shred-it information destruction service, you can improve the reliability of paper shredding. We are NAID AAA certified, which means we follow document destruction best practices and are compliant with all known data protection laws. We use industrial-grade, cross-cut shredders to transform paper documents into small, confetti-like pieces, which cannot be reconstructed, thus limiting chances for theft. Additionally, our industrial-grade equipment can handle staples and paper clips, so your employees won't waste any time removing them.
We also help you increase efficiency, freeing your staff to focus more on tasks that bring revenue into your business. Our security-trained personnel come to your office at scheduled times to pick up documents and either shred them on-site or at a nearby facility, maintaining a secure chain of custody throughout the process and delivering a Certificate of Destruction once materials are fully destroyed. Since we own, service, and maintain our industrial shredders, there are no equipment costs for you and no more risk of staff injuries.
Depending on the volume of paper you produce, you can arrange for regularly scheduled services, one-time services or drop-offs, and even express options, if you need the work done fast. And you can have old hard drives or other electronic equipment destroyed at the same time—something that’s not possible with a DIY approach.
Bottom line: By using a certified shredding service like Shred-It you can streamline document destruction and take risk out of the equation, making the process more cost-effective overall.
Learn more about how a secure information destruction service like Shred-it can support your business.