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Answers to Your FAQs about Shredding

January 17, 2023

Closeup of a hand holding a piece of chalk and writing the letters "FAQ" on a black chalkboardWhat questions cross your mind when someone asks you if you shred your documents before you discard them in the recycling or waste bin?

Would you be concerned if you knew that thieves make a living out of dumpster diving, and that in Mississippi, dumpster diving is completely legal as long as the dumpster isn’t locked?

Once your documents are in the trash, they’re public property. Hopefully, this makes you think twice about whether you should be shredding, which leads to other important questions about shredding. Here are answers to frequently-asked shredding questions you may be pondering:

Q: Can I shred my documents on an as-needed or infrequent basis?

A: While a reputable shredding company can set up a recurring scheduled shredding service to regularly collect and shred your sensitive documents, they should be able to also offer a one-time purge shredding service. You may have discovered your files need purging and need to immediately unload old documents. That’s one example of when a one-time purge shredding project is a great solution.

Q: What if I don’t have a large quantity of documents to shred?

A: No two businesses are alike. Whatever your reason for a small shredding project, your documents still need to be securely shredded in compliance with data protection laws.

Choose a local shredding company that provides a variety of shredding service options. You may also consider installing shred collection containers onsite that can be emptied and have the documents shredded when it is full.

Q: If I work from home, do I still need to shred my documents?

A: The law requires your business to properly and reasonably dispose of all private information by destroying it. Working from home is no exception to this. Anyone in your home could intentionally or accidentally see, move, lose or mishandle your documents, including anyone who visits to service your home or friends and extended family that visit.

If you discard your documents in the recycling or trash, that information is vulnerable to being lost or stolen. If you shred your own documents with an office shredding machine, you are likely not compliant with data protection laws. Even if you are compliant, you have no proof that you shredded that information in a compliant manner, such as a Certificate of Destruction which can be provided by a reputable shredding company. You’ll be glad you have it when the auditor comes knocking.

Q: What about discarded or damaged hard drives. Can they be shredded too?

A: Most businesses store private information digitally, and when those drives are removed from service, they still contain a massive amount of information, even if the files have been “wiped” or the data erased.

The protection of digital information is mandated by state and federal laws just as paper documents are, so your company is responsible for any sensitive information that might be left on your hard drives, portable storage devices or electronics, too. To ensure this information is impossible for thieves to retrieve and streamline your information destruction process, work with a local shredding company that offers both paper shredding and hard drive and media shredding.

Q: How can I prove that my documents or digital files have been destroyed?

A: A reputable shredding company will provide a Certificate of Destruction when shredding is complete so that you have documentation of your compliance with data protection laws. The certificate will list the date and time of shredding as well as the quantity types of items shredded.

Q: Where can I go for compliant shredding?

A: Choose a local, reputable shredding company that provides paper shredding, hard drive and media shredding, and even product destruction. Make sure they are able to meet your shredding needs on your schedule, that you understand their pricing, that you can talk to a real person when needed, and that you like the people you’ll be working with.

GreenServ provides secure, compliant shredding services in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas. Do you have a question we didn’t answer here? Simply call us at 662-533-0940 or complete the form on this page and one of our friendly shredding experts will be happy to help.


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Need shredding? GreenServ also provides shredding services throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas.

If you’re interested, give us a call at (662) 533-0940 or complete the form on the contact page.