Confidential Paper Shredding Recycling: What You Need to Know

19 Oct 2013
HomeEnvironmentConfidential Paper Shredding Recycling: What You Need to Know

If you do confidential paper shredding  in your office or at home, you may be wondering what is the best way to go about recycling it. You may assume that by shredding your paper you are making it easier to recycle, but actually the reverse is often true. Here are a few things that you should know about recycling shredded paper. 

Shredded Paper is Not Accepted Everywhere

Shredded paper is recycled by some local authorities, and if this is the case in your area then you simply have to leave out the shredded paper along with your other paper to recycle. Some local authorities may ask you to place your shredded paper with the cardboard for recycling. 

However, some local authorities will not recycle shredded paper at all. You should therefore find out if your local authority will recycle it or not. Give them a call or check on the website to find out.

The Problem with Shredded Paper

Why don’t all local authorities recycle shredded paper? The main problem is simply that many paper mills cannot recycle it. One problem involves the handling of the material, and it can also cause cause problems with the maintenance or even present a fire hazard.

Another reason why some paper mills do not accept it is that shredding the paper reduces the average fibre length. This means the paper produced from it is weaker.

Checks to Make when Recycling Shredded Paper 

If you are able to place your shredded paper with your other recyclable materials, make sure that there is no plastic or staples contained within it. It is also a good idea to pack the shreds into a container that is sealed shut to prevent the wind blowing the paper away and causing littering.

Should You Shred Your Paper or Not?

Whether you should shred your paper in the first place is something that you have to decide. Not all paper has to be shredded, and you should really only consider shredding it when it contains confidential information. 

This includes bank statements, business documents, and any other details that you don’t want anyone else to see. The risk of ID theft or sensitive data getting into the wrong hands is too great, so you should always destroy such documents.

In fact, when it comes to very sensitive business data, it should be destroyed more effectively. We have a professional shredding solution to ensure your documents are completely destroyed, and this is the best option to keep your data secure. We also recycle the shredded materials afterwards where possible.

If you are unable to recycle your shredded paper but you still need to shred personal documents, you could reuse the results of your confidential paper shredding in a different way. One option is to compost it in the garden. Just be sure that the documents have been shredded effectively enough so that the information has been destroyed. Alternatively, you could use it as an effective fire lighter in your home.

These are all options, but remember that if you have sensitive business data or personal data of your customers or staff, destroy it properly using a professional service for extra peace of mind.


Image courtesy of nirots /