On this page we explore:
Why do I need a paper shredding service?
Businesses are responsible for holding a lot of information — they keep databases of their customers and staff and handle all manner of sensitive personal and financial material. For this reason it’s highly important that any physical copies of such information are destroyed appropriately in line with regulations.
And by 25 May 2018, when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the UK, companies holding paper files dating back several years will need to destroy them. In many cases this will be no small task.
Why an office shredder isn’t enough
It might be tempting to shred sensitive documents in-house. However, this can take a considerable amount of time using a standard shredding machine, and means taking staff members away from the day-to-day running of the business.
Of course, time is money so it’ll end up costing you more to elect staff members to keep on top of destroying documents. And the cost of running and maintaining shredders you use frequently over time will only add to this.
- The shredding isn’t always sufficient
Often, the shredding equipment used in offices is fairly basic and won’t destroy your documents adequately. It generally uses the ‘strip cut’ method of shredding, which produces ribbon-like strips of paper. This is not sufficient for commercial use, since the shredded waste paper could still be read and reassembled if it were to get into the wrong hands. But a professional shredding service will use industrial, cross-cut shredders that cut the paper both widthways and lengthways. For example, a single A4 sheet could be left in between 300 and 900 tiny pieces, meaning the shredded waste is far more secure.
- Your documents could get into the wrong hands
When handling information security in-house, unfortunately there’s no guarantee that sensitive documents containing salary information, for example, couldn’t get into the wrong hands internally, or that financial or client data can’t be picked up by a competitor. In essence, you can’t be too careful and it makes sense to protect your business from unnecessary risk.
- You can’t prove your compliance
In-house shredding is likely to be done when needed and piles of sensitive documents can accumulate as other tasks take priority, making it difficult to keep track of what’s been destroyed and what hasn’t. But by partnering with a professional shredding service, you’ll receive a certificate of destruction after every collection, which means you also have proof — should you ever need it — of your compliance with data protection regulations.
Which documents should I shred?
According to research we carried out at Russell Richardson, a number of businesses are leaving themselves at risk by failing to destroy confidential documents, simply because the information they contain is not deemed sensitive.
The responses we obtained suggested that invoices, as well as documents detailing company organisation and structure, are relatively low priorities for shredding.
But in fact this sort of information should be considered sensitive enough to destroy securely, as should:
- documents with clients’ and employees’ personal information
- contracts and commercial documents
- office plans and internal manuals
You can read more about the types of documents you should shred in our guide to paper shredding services.
Which shredding service do I need?
The type of service that’s best suited to your business’s paper disposal needs will depend on:
- the volume of confidential waste paper you generate
- the period of time in which you generate it
If you’re a small business or a sole trader, we offer a specialised service whereby we collect one sack of confidential waste per month for a one-off payment of £99 + VAT per year.
Our bulk shredding service could be suitable for larger organisations that produce a high volume of waste paper on a regular basis. We can even offer rebates to such customers, enabling you to turn your waste stream into cash and put it straight back into your business.
If security is your primary concern, you may want to consider our onsite shredding service. Although all of our services make the security of your confidential waste a priority, the opportunity to have your sensitive documents destroyed on your business premises — as you watch, if required — can offer that additional peace of mind.
Alternatively, with our offsite service you can have your confidential business documents collected and shredded in our secure depot — a cost-effective solution for medium or large businesses. Whether you want your waste collected regularly or just whenever you decide, we:
- provide secure containers in which to store your waste documents
- destroy them within 24 hours of transportation to our depot
- send you a certificate of destruction after each collection, for your records.
If you’re still unsure about which service might best suit your business needs, our friendly team is happy to advise you. Get in touch with us here or call 0800 294 6552.