On a recent field trip, Great Forest visited ShredX to find out what really happens to sensitive documents sent off-site for disposal.
At its New Jersey location, ShredX operates one of the largest shredding machines in the region, capable of processing 800 tons of material a month.
When Great Forest visited the operation, we were ushered into a restricted area of the facility, where we saw a giant two-story tall shredding machine in action, monitored by multiple security cameras.
We were told that only authorized personnel had access to this room and we saw that the blue document-filled bins were only unlocked in the vicinity of the shredder.
Once emptied onto the conveyor belt, the documents were sorted one final time. Workers pulled out items like paper clips and computer disks, which were sent to more appropriate recycling facilities.
The shredded documents were then machine-baled and transported, that very same day, to nearby factories, where they were turned into products like paper towels and toilet paper.
For secure and sustainable shredding, you should:
- Go local. Make sure the shredding facility is nearby so the documents will not have to travel far and do not get outsourced to another shredding facility.
- Find out where the facility is selling their post-consumer recycled paper. You want to make sure it goes to a local factory and does not get shipped overseas.
- Ask for a document of destruction or other certification that you may need for sustainability reporting purposes.
- Ask if shredding can be done on your premises, if you would rather not have your sensitive documents leave your offices. Some companies offer mobile shredding units.
- Ask about the company’s security measures. Any reputable shredding facility should be able to provide you with locked bins and explain how they handle and track your documents from your office to the their rebirth as a recycled paper product.
- Or ask your Great Forest representative.