Your Options

Information Disposal Options

There are information disposal choices. You can hire a shredding service, purchase an office shredder or simply recycle. The cost of each option varies, as does the level of security. Most shredding companies offer two types of shredding services, on-site and plant-based.

On-Site Shredding

Level of Security – On-site shredding service offers the highest level of information security.

How it Works – As the name implies, on-site shredding means that all confidential materials are shredded on-site, at your location. The hydraulic lift of a Smart Shred truck raises a filled container and your confidential information is shredded in minutes. Because the process is automated, the technician never touches your confidential documents. The Smart Shred truck is equipped with video monitoring and it is recommended that you observe the shredding process from beginning to end, each and every time your materials are shredded. This will insure that all confidential information has before it leaves your premises.

Typical Cost– Prices may range from $65 to $85 per service.

Plant Based Shredding

Level of Security – Off-site shredding is the least secure process that a shredding service company can offer.

How it Works – Off-site shredding companies bring your confidential documents back to their facility to be shredded. Off-site shredding companies usually separate your white documents (such as copy paper and stationery) from your colored documents (such as yellow legal paper and file folders) to increase the value of the recycled paper. This is hand sorted so if you choose an off-site shredding company, be aware that their employees will at some point have access to these confidential documents. This process can expose your customers to identity theft and fraud…and expose your organization to severe fines, bad publicity and lost business.

Typical Cost– Prices are usually lower than on-site shredding service. They may range from $60 to $70 per service.

Do It Yourself or Office Shredding

Level of Security – Office shredders offer limited information security.

How it Works – Employees get rid of confidential documents by “feeding the office shredder.” Since you do not want to pay your higher paid employees to spend time shredding, in many organizations, the person chosen to perform this task is an entry-level employee making near minimum wage. They are also the most likely candidates to steal confidential information for personal gain. In addition, most office shredders use a “strip shred” process that can leave large pieces of paper intact.

Typical Cost
– It sounds like a cost effective method, but when you consider that most office shredders shred less then eight pages of paper at once, office shredding can easily take hours of employee time each and every week. Factor in wages, benefits, the initial cost of the shredder, plus shredder maintenance, the cost will usually exceed those charged by a shredding company .


Level of Security – None. When a company gives away paper for recycling they relinquish all rights to the information. If confidential information was not properly shredded and it falls into the wrong hands, your organization will be held liable.

How it Works – Recycling your confidential documents is a dangerous practice. Most recycling companies hire minimum wage workers who have not undergone criminal background checks or random drug testing. These workers sort your documents, often in unsupervised areas. The sorted paper is then stored for days, weeks or months until there is enough to sell. Your confidential documents, still intact, are then baled and sold to the highest bidder, where they may be stored again, until they are finally used to make new products.

Typical Cost
– None. Many recycling firms will pay for your recycled paper.