Document Shredding – Good or Bad for the Environment?

You know that document shredding is good for your financial security and to ward against identity theft, but is it good for the environment? Actually, yes, it is for a number of reasons.

When you factor in all the costs of paper production – time for the trees to grow, labor to cut and process them, fuel costs, chemicals, etc. – producing new paper is expensive and inefficient. Recycling paper lowers the amount of trees cut down to meet our paper needs, which is good for the environment because the spared trees can process carbon dioxide into oxygen instead. Recycling paper helps reduce water consumption. It takes 324 liters of water to make one kilogram of new paper.

Recycling paper, shredded or not, is better for the environment. It reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills.

Can I Put Shredded Paper in the Recycling Bin?

The answer varies according to your municipality’s recycling program and rules. Generally the answer is no. In fact, if you put paper shreds in with your other papers for recycling, it’s extremely likely that the shredded paper will end up in a landfill.

What’s the difference between recycling shredded paper through your local recycling program and a commercial shredding company? The facility that receives your shredded paper makes all the difference.

Most recycling facilities that are used by cities, counties, local governments, etc. are not set up to process shredded paper. In fact, shreds of paper can clog the methods they often use to sort recyclable material because it’s designed for larger sheets of paper, cardboard, etc. If shredded paper ends up there, it’s usually discarded outright or ends up on the floor to be swept away with trash.

Commercial shredding companies use facilities that are designed to process shredded paper for recycling. The shreds are then chemically washed, heat is applied, the paper fibers are screen pressed to remove contaminates, it’s washed and cleaned again to remove ink and the pulped paper is then transformed into new, raw paper products.

Can I Throw Away Shredded Paper?

Yes, but that’s a waste. Sending paper to a landfill that can otherwise be used to create new paper wastes resources unnecessarily. Since the average American uses the equivalent of 7 trees per year in paper production, recycling paper can save 2 billion trees per year. In 2018, 68.1 percent of paper used in the U.S. was reclaimed for recycling, which is a good number but could be better.

For the heightened security and environmental friendliness, commercial shredding is the best solution. Storage Quarters even has a mobile shredding truck that comes to you, shreds your documents in front of you, and delivers a Certificate of Destruction to you once the job is done.

Storage Quarters Shredding Is Secure & Convenient

Don’t waste time shredding sensitive documents on your own, especially when documents that might breach HIPAA laws are included. Let the professionals at Storage Quarters mobile shredding division process your sensitive documents securely, quickly, and efficiently, and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction. To get a free quote or book our services, contact Storage Quarters today.

Boost Business Efficiency with Storage Quarters

Despite talk of a “paperless society” for decades, many offices still have far too much paper to manage, track, and store. Doctors and other professionals have patients/clients fill out forms and intake information. Lawyers have legal documents, contracts, and releases. Accountants have reams of sensitive paperwork. Add in legal and regulatory requirements and getting rid of paper isn't as easy as just trashing it. Streamlining the process of managing this paperwork would instantly make any office or business instantly more efficient. The document management specialists at Storage Quarters have the solutions to make your business more efficient.

How Storage Quarters Can Help Improve Office Efficiency

Digitizing and storing documents offsite frees up valuable office space while greatly enhancing overall efficiency. But how do you begin what can be a time consuming, and frequently daunting, project?

First, divide your files into what you absolutely must maintain as paper files in the office versus what can be stored. This will vary by business type – industry standards, regulations, etc. You can either have separate boxes for what needs to be digitized and stored versus what can just be stored or plan on having everything scanned. Again, the choice might depend upon your industry’s legal or licensing requirements so check with any regulatory agency whose oversight might apply.

Once you are done separating your files, now is when the expert information management specialists from Storage Quarters step in. Here’s how we help your process.

  1. Storage Quarters picks up your files. We can even pack them into boxes and help organize them.

  2. Your documents are transported to our facility, incorporating HIPAA security standards for the entire process. Every box is given a barcode for easy tracking via its unique identification number.

  3. At our secure facility, your documents are scanned and uploaded.

  4. Either your office's indexing and identification system is added to the scanned files or, if you don't already have a file ID system, we create one for you.

  5. Storage Quarters uploads your files to your computer system and/or an external hard drive.

  6. The physical paperwork is either stored at our secure facility in the barcoded boxes or the files are shredded, depending upon your preference and the legal regulations you must follow.

Storage Quarters is especially advantageous for medical facilities and doctor offices because our scanning and imaging services are completely HIPAA compliant and new files can be added to an EMR. Our service can separate charts into different sections for lab work, progress updates, testing, etc. for easy updating and retrieval according to the practitioner needs and preferences. Our in-house IT team ensures that we have strong firewalls on all data and our rigorous Disaster Recovery Programs provides extra protection.

For your convenience, Storage Quarters even offers a variety of scanning options. We can digitize only archived and inactive paper files, or scan on demand paperwork placed into storage or use the scan day forward active option, which is when active documents are converted when they enter the document management system and new documents are scanned from a point in time and beyond.

The Benefits of Digitizing Documents

So now that your files are digitized and stored, where is the actual benefit? Why should your business spend the money to scan documents if the physical copies are in storage? In reality, there are many benefits to digitizing your files.

  1. Safety – If your office floods, has a fire, etc. there's a digital backup

  2. Convenience – You can have access to every piece of paperwork without it taking up valuable office space.

  3. Compliance – You can ensure that your digital documents meet whatever standard required by your industry.

  4. Security – Instead of a records room anyone can access, files can be kept password protected for only authorized employees.

  5. Space – Digitizing documents means you can reclaim valuable office space.

Secure Your Documents with Storage Quarters

Trust the storage of your records with the document management and security experts at Storage Quarters. Whether you want to store or digitize your personal financial records, or if you are a retiring doctor who needs long-term custodial records storage, Storage Quarters will keep your vital records safe and secure. Our facility is climate controlled and monitored 24/7 by fire, police, and security. If you have more questions or to get a free quote or book our services, contact Storage Quarters today.