Shredding Documents or Recycling: Which is Better?

The paperless office is like Martians. A myth.

Companies only aspire to be paperless. Look around and you will see network printers and Xerox machines. You will spot yellow legal pads and vibrant Post-It notes. Paper remains a convenience and a necessity.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) says that recycling one ton of paper would save enough energy to power the average American home for six months. And, save 7,000 gallons of water (an average family of four uses 400 gallons of water) every day.

But the figures won’t tell you the vital need of shredding before you even start recycling. The unique selling point of any good shredding solution is in one key phrase — document security.

That’s why shredding your documents should always be a precursor to recycling them. Here are five critical reasons:

  1. Shredding is secure. Recyclables are always manually sorted before they are stored. This increases the chance of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. Document shredding is secure and follows strict protocols.
  2. Shredding follows clear schedules. Documents that are to be recycled can sit in a warehouse till they are sorted. Professional shredders stick to a strict timeline. A good service also offers on-demand mobile shredding and a clear schedule to meet your needs.
  3. Shredding meets regulatory compliance. Recycling is open to data breaches and can result in fines and civil lawsuits. Document shredding is specifically mentioned in most state and federally mandated privacy legislation.
  4. Shredding gives you peace of mind. A trusted, professional shredding service will provide confirmation certificates to prove compliance with regulations. This can be a guarantee against data theft accusations.
  5. Shredding is environmental-friendly. Shredded paper is recycled by qualified paper mills to ensure sustainability. For instance, A Shred Ahead is committed to recycling 100% of its shredded output.

So, why stop at recycling documents? The shredding versus recycling debate is easily settled when you adopt the best practices of both worlds. Our Earth and any bottom line will be the better for it.


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