July 20, 2020
While recycling paper documents in the blue bin is the right thing to do, doing so without shredding them first is a quick way for sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands.
To combat this, Shred-it offers secure paper shredding and document destruction services to businesses looking to protect their information security – all documents are destroyed and recycled, safely and securely using our tamper-proof Shred-it containers.
Most organizations have a lot more than paper documents to securely dispose of though. Here's what you need to know about what can and can’t go in a Shred-it container.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have sensitive work information printed out on any sort of paper, it can be thrown in the Shred-it container for safe disposal. This includes documents like client files and contact lists, financial reports, employee records, strategy development plans and any documents containing private correspondence.
Most paper-based items are safe for Shred-it containers so long as they are not in contact with anything flammable. Don’t worry about separating items that have been stapled or clipped together, either; small metal items like paper clips can also be thrown in.
Electronics cannot go into Shred-it containers. There are a variety of risks involved if these items make their way into the tamper-proof containers. As an example, many electronic items use lithium batteries, which are highly flammable and can result in a fire if not treated carefully. In fact, between 2016 and 2019 there was a 26% increase in the number of fires at waste facilities across the U.S. and Canada thanks to these discarded devices.
Lithium batteries have become more prevalent in portable devices like laptops and smart phones, many of which are used to store confidential work information. While well intentioned, electronic devices are often mistakenly thrown in Shred-it containers to increase data security. Unfortunately, when mishandled and often mingled with paper-based documents in a tamper-proof container, these batteries risk overheating, catching fire, or exploding.
Electronics aren’t the only thing that can ruin the container. Syringes, glass, cans, cardboard tubes, ink cartridges and toners, hanging folders, nuts and bolts, office supplies like hole punchers and staple removers, and even food can all be harmful or damaging when thrown in a Shred-it container carelessly.
To combat this, we recommend using services that can dispose of these items properly. Shred-it offers specialized services to safely dispose of hard drives and electronics, while Stericycle provides destruction programs for a wide range of specialty waste types.