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One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s Treasure

April 21, 2021

Identity theft and business fraud are often thought of as digital crimes. Although identity thieves do employ high-tech methods to steal confidential information, paper-based breaches are also common.

For example:

  • In Iowa, boxes containing private documents were found in a dumpster, compromising the personal information of over 4,000 individuals.
  • A grocery store worker in Nevada was terminated for dumping nearly 58,000 prescription records.
  • Recently, a Texas man arrested for dumpster diving was charged with identity theft.

Ultimately, any document that lands in a trash or recycling bin can be plucked out by an identity thief. In this blog, we explain why it is important to keep your documents out of the trash.

Chain of Custody

Many businesses and organizations lose track of paper records, especially since office shredders are cumbersome to use and paper recycling receptacles are ubiquitous. As a result, it’s easy for documents containing personally identifiable information (PII) to get accidentally tossed in a trashcan or recycling container.

A professional shredding service tightens the chain of custody for your paper records. Your shredding provider can deliver collection containers to your office. These secure receptacles facilitate convenient disposal of confidential documents. Your employees deposit paper records into the containers without having to remove staples and paperclips. Once your shred collection containers are filled, a screened shredding technician collects the contents and destroy your documents onsite with a mobile shredding truck or transport them to a plant-based shredding facility for secure destruction.

Secure Routine Disposal

It is important to maintain secure, routine disposal of unwanted paper records without compromising the privacy of your customers. A recurring scheduled shredding service is the best solution for organizations that regularly produce or handle sensitive or confidential documents. Your shredding provider will determine a schedule that accounts for the volume of paper produced at your company, visit your location on the scheduled days, and collect your materials for shredding.


Under the following laws, documents with PHI (Protected Health Information) and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) must be protected:

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB)

Each of these regulations levies stiff penalties on companies that do not document their paper records disposal practices. Most in-house shredding programs are not considered an acceptable form of compliance. A shredding provider can give you a Certificate of Destruction each time they destroy your paper records. This document offers legal proof of your compliance with state and federal privacy regulations.

Improper disposal of paper records can lead to data breaches. Partnering with a qualified and trusted shredding provider can keep your documents out of the trash and helps keep your business compliant.

GreenServ provides secure, compliant, and sustainable paper shredding and medical waste disposal services to clients throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. To learn more about our shredding services, please call us at 662-533-0940 or complete the form on this page.

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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.