April 19, 2022

Secure Recycling with Shred-it: Our Document Shredding Lifecycle

Keeping private information safe has never been more critical for businesses. Protecting confidential data not only helps to reduce a company’s chance of a data breach& but can also help build and maintain trust with employees and customers.

Some organisations choose to dispose of confidential documents using a traditional recycling bin. While these bins can be an environmentally friendly disposal option, they also leave confidential information exposed and at risk, creating a hotbed of opportunity for crime. Many document lifecycle management tools leave information exposed, which is a catalyst for the56% of Europeans that experience some type of fraud between 2018 and 2020, and a further third of these complained of being victims to identity theft.
To better understand these risks, it’s important to know the lifecycle of a document disposed through a traditional recycling bin and how it compares to the secure document shredding process with Shred-it.

Vulnerabilities of Traditional Document Disposal

Nearly every point in the traditional recycling bin process carries the potential risk of exposing confidential information. Below are the five areas where vulnerabilities can be present:

  1. Recycling Binsonce employees finish using confidential documents, they drop them in their nearest recycling bin. This potentially exposes the documents’ contents to everyone in the office including visitors and others not allowed to view sensitive information.  
  2. Rubbish Bags: recycled documents are collected in large plastic bags or bins which can potentially expose confidential information to anyone in the office building. Many businesses may not understand that leaving these items exposed can present a potential risk - confidential information is not safe if any person, inside or outside an organisation, can access it without permission. 
  3. Outdoor Recycling Bins: nextthe building’s caretaker will transfer the disposed documents to outdoor recycling bins for pick up, giving people outside the building access to confidential information. These outdoor bins are often not locked nor monitored closely, giving criminals an easy way to access disposed documents. 
  4. Trucks: recycling professionals then load the intact documents onto a truck for transportation to the sorting facility. This provides an opportunity for downstream handlers, such as recycling workers, truck drivers, and others full access to confidential information.
  5. Sorting Facility: finally, the documents are delivered to the sorting facility where workers and volunteers sort and prepare them for recycling. These employees and volunteers can easily read, share, and steal any sensitive information that maybe contained in the documents. 

 Eventually, the facility recycles these documents, but businesses have no written proof of when and where their secure documents were destroyed. While the ‘recycling bin’ process benefits the environment, it repeatedly exposes confidential information, risking a data breach. These five points of vulnerability highlight the importance of document shredding and establishing proper document destruction procedures.

Secure Disposal of Sensitive Information

We designed Shred-it's data management shredding process with the five points of vulnerability in mind to help ensure confidential information stays safe from the moment a document is first thrown away to the moment it is recycled. Our process includes three simple steps:

  1. Employees drop their confidential documents in a secure Shred-it console. Unlike the traditional document disposal process where any person in the office could view and take documents thrown away in recycling bins, Shred-it secure consoles are locked and have a beveled slot to help prevent access to any disposed documents. 
  2. Our team of professionals empties the consoles and shreds all documents. The purpose of document shredding is to help protect against unauthorized access to protected information. In a traditional document disposal process, bad actors can steal sensitive documents even if they have been manually torn, but shredding can help secure documents nearly unreadable. Shred-it securely destroys documents using the latest cross-cut technology, and your organisation can arrange for document shredding on-site or at a secure shredding facility, where documents are destroyed within 48 hours of arrival.
  3. Finally, our team delivers the shredded confidential documents to a paper mill for recycling. Our customers get the environmental benefits of the recycling bin without having to sacrifice data security.
Protect your Data with Shred-it

Confidential document disposal is not simply about removing unneeded paper waste – it is also about protecting your relationship with your customers, employees, partners, and the community. Proper document shredding policies and procedures protect your organisation from the many risks of traditional document disposal. 

We follow a six step security protocol to help keep confidential information safe every step of the way. We require a barcode scan at every touchpoint to track our chain of custody and our employees have Certified Information Security Professional designations. This means that they undergo rigorous training to learn how to protect confidential information.
Our fleets are GPS-tracked so we know where your documents are, and we lock our containers and trucks to keep information safe in transit. Our secure, monitored facilities help protect your information before it’s destroyed. When the process is finished, we provide customers a Certificate of Destruction to guarantee that we destroyed and recycled your documents
With Shred-it, you can feel confident that your information is safe at every step of the process and that you are doing your part in helping to protect the environment. Globally in 2021, we securely shredded and recycled 1.1 billion pounds of paper. This is equal to 9 million trees saved and 1.65 cubic yards of landfill space saved.
Learn about our secure document disposal process and secure document shredding options to meet your needs – whether you run a small-to-medium business or a larger. Contact us.