October 08, 2021

Key Things to Look For in a Professional Shredding Service

When you leave documents to pile up, your customers’ and employees’ confidential information can be put at risk. Shredding is a safe and secure way to dispose of sensitive documents that are no longer needed. However, all paper shredding services are not the same. Selecting the right shredding service is important to ensure your documents are safely and securely destroyed. The following are the top questions to ask when reviewing the available options for secure document shredding.

Is Do-It-Yourself Shredding a Reliable Way to Securely Destroy Confidential Documents?

Do it yourself, or DIY, shredding is often less secure since it relies on standard office shredders that could potentially not fully destroy disposed material. These shredders cut paper into vertical or horizontal strips, which can be easily retrieved, reassembled, and used for identity theft or other nefarious purposes. DIY shredding is also time-consuming. Before putting paper into a standard office shredder, staff must spend time removing staples and paper clips, and arranging documents into manageable piles. Paper jams happen frequently, which can further slow productivity. There are even worker safety concerns with a DIY approach because staff can get their fingers and hands caught in standard shredders, resulting in serious injuries.

How Safe Are Shredding Services?

Shredding services are a safe and secure way to destroy confidential documents, oftentimes more so than DIY options. Professional shredding services use industrial-grade shredders that turn paper into confetti, so it cannot be reconstructed and used for identity theft. Top shredding companies are certified and offer a secure chain of custody and certificate of destruction (proof of service), so you can be confident that any discarded materials are fully destroyed following industry best practices.

What Services Does a Professional Shredding Company Offer?

A professional shredding company should offer a range of services to meet various needs. These may include regular document destruction that occurs at specified times and frequencies or one-time shredding for large purges. Conveniently located drop-off options should also be available as should express and priority shredding for more urgent disposal needs. A potential shredding partner should support hard drive and media destruction as well as specialty shredding. At Shred-it, we offer all these options and more to make sure we meet the unique and evolving needs of our customers.

How Much Do Document Shredding Services Cost?

The cost of shredding services varies depending on the type, location, and frequency of service, as well as the volume of material you need destroyed. Shred-it follows a standard pricing model for most of our services. We charge a flat fee which covers a minimum number of boxes of paper or hard drives. If you have more than the minimum number, there is a per box/per hard drive rate that fluctuates based on the number and volume of items. The more boxes a facility wants to destroy, the lower the per-box price. Media destruction and specialty shredding have more customized pricing models, depending on the materials involved.

What Should I Look For in a Local Shredding Service?

1. Meets National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) Requirements

The ideal shredding service should meet or exceed National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) requirements. A NAID-certified shredding service should guarantee a secure chain of destruction from pickup through disposal, and offer a certificate of destruction (or proof of service), which demonstrates that your materials were fully and safely destroyed.

Shred-it is NAID-AAA certified, which means we are compliant with all known data protection laws and have undergone scheduled and surprise audits conducted by trained, accredited security professionals.

2. Secure Chain of Control

We also ensure a secure chain of control, guaranteeing the safety of confidential documents from the point of disposal through secure destruction. We can provide this level of assurance because we use tamper-proof containers to hold documents until they are shredded, as well as locked, GPS-tracked shredding trucks and secure totes to keep documents safe in transit.

Other things to check for when seeking a trusted shredding partner include how staff is screened and trained, whether the company provides secure, locked waste receptacles, and how it monitors the safety and security of its destruction facilities.

3. Diligent Screening Process

Our drivers and technicians undergo a thorough screening process, and we have robust systems for securing and monitoring our facilities.

4. Sustainability

We also prioritize sustainability by recycling shredded paper after destruction and using waste receptacles made from 100% recycled HDPE plastic.

5. Offers A Wide Range of Information Destruction Services to Protect Confidentiality

A good shredding partner will also offer a range of services to meet the needs of small and large businesses, as well as individuals.

Is Paper Shredding Environmentally Friendly?

Paper shredding can be an environmentally friendly method for destroying sensitive information. Globally in 2020, Shred-it recycled ~approximately 1.1 billion pounds of paper, saving an equivalent of nearly 10 million trees. Our 65- and 95-gallon Shred-it bins are molded from 100% recycled HDPE plastic, underscoring our commitment to and passion for the environment.

Why Should I Hire a Professional Shredding Service?

Professional shredding services, such as those provided by Stericycle’s Shred-it, offer a more reliable and cost-effective alternative to DIY strategies. Our industrial-grade, cross-cut shredders transform paper documents into small, confetti-like pieces, which cannot be reconstructed, thus limiting chances for theft. Our equipment easily handles staples and paper clips, so your employees won't waste time removing these items. Moreover, since we own, service, and maintain our industrial shredders, there are no equipment costs for our customers and no risk of staff injuries.

A good shredding partner will also offer a range of services to meet the needs of small and large businesses, as well as individuals. For example, Shred-it offers regular and one-time shredding services, express and priority options, and drop-off alternatives. For our regular shredding service customers, we provide a no-cost risk assessment to uncover possible information security vulnerabilities and complimentary workplace privacy policies. In addition to securely disposing of paper, we can completely destroy outdated and unused hard drives, media, and specialty items, including promotional items, training binders, old employee badges, and more.

To learn more about how Shred-it can help with all your document destruction needs, visit our Services page.