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.