How Do Document Shredding Services Work?

Properly Dispose of Important Materials

Businesses that deal with proprietary or other sensitive information choose document and file shredding to destroy obsolete records. This includes paper shredding, but also the shredding of old computer archive disks, CDs and DVDs. Shredders and shredding services provide a secure means of destroying documents, files and disks.

Paper Shredders

Paper shredders save time and money for small businesses that don't generate a large volume of documents. Paper shredders are available in heavy-, medium- and light-duty models, and the right choice depends on the number of people who use the shredder day in and day out. A heavy-duty paper shredder is recommended if 10 or more people are using the machine on a daily basis. Medium-duty shredders are suitable for 5 to 10 daily users and light-duty models are suitable for one to three people. Home office paper shredders are intended for one-person use.

Paper shredders are sold according to the level of security required for destruction. Thus, high-security shredders produce 12,000 confetti-sized chips per standard sheet of 8½ x 11-inch paper. The "Micro-Shred" secure destruction level shreds 3,700 confetti-sized chips per page, making for workable but slightly less secure document garbage disposal. For minimally secure destruction, a strip-cut shredder cuts paper into crosswise strips rather than small chips, though these units provide unmatched affordability. Most office shredders range between high-security destruction and Micro-Shred.

All shredders are built with specifications that indicate the maximum number of pages that can be fed in one pass. Newer model shredders have an "auto-feed" capability similar to printers, copiers and fax machines. Some paper shredders shred from 10 to 100 pages. Office-duty shredders are relatively maintenance-free. Most standard shredders are also built to function as CD shredders, providing reliable destruction of CDs and DVDs.

Document Shredding Services

For large jobs that require shredding entire files and classification folders, a shredding service will transport documents, files, and discs for shredding at a reasonable price. Most law and accounting firms prefer this method for bulk shredding. To ensure company documents and files are properly shredded, many document shredding services offer mobile service at the customer's location.

This method ensures immediate document shredding as well as exceptional convenience. Using a document shredding service also saves companies time and money by relieving employees of the need to perform these tedious tasks in-house. Companies with limited file storage space also tend to prefer this method. This is an advantage to consider when hiring a document shredding service or shopping for an in-house paper shredder.

In some cases, a document shredding service is suitable for residences, too. If you don't want to invest in a shredder for your home, or you typically don't need to shred documents all that often, you can rely on professional services to dispose of your sensitive information in the best possible way. Typically, you will be given a special box to collect all sensitive documents, and then you can take the box to the shredder's office or order the service to visit your home. Since there will often be a minimum charge for in-home shredding service, it's a good idea to save up your papers and discs until there's enough to make the trip cost-effective for you.

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