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Shred Vault Environmental Impact

Shred Vault and the Environment

We all generate waste. It’s a fact of life. On average, Americas generate three times the amount of other global citizens or roughly 5 pounds of waste per day. So, what’s the waste made up of and can we safely recover some if not most of it? The short answer is yes. Nearly 25% of what gets tossed out every day is recyclable paper. Not only can paper be eliminated from the waste stream and skip getting buried in the landfill, but it can efficiently and effectively be repurposed into paper products such as the tissue and toweling we use every day.


Why you should shred?

We’ve got paper and then we’ve got paper. Receipts, statements and a variety of other documents that contain our personal and identifiable information, otherwise known as PII. Let’s call this confidential information. Most of us know that paperwork that hosts anything confidential should never be placed in the trash or recycle bin. As few as two identifiers like name and address, name and phone number, or name and account number are enough for identity thieves to get the ball rolling and create havoc in our lives. This type of paper should only be disposed of after it’s fully destroyed.


Is shredded paper recyclable?

When it comes to destruction of confidential information you’ve got a couple of conventional choices. You can purchase a home office shredder and do the work yourself or you can use an information destruction company to get the job done. There are pros and cons to each.

If you purchase an office shredder you’ve got an upfront cost to buy the equipment and then the more daunting task of creating the time and cleaning up the mess that comes along with shredding your own confidential information. This job is not all that attractive and often gets pushed to the back burner. If you ever do get around to it, once completed the shredded paper is too small to be received and processed through typical residential recycling facility and thus enters the waste stream and is landfilled.

The other option is to call a commercial paper shredder and let them do the work. Typically outfits that shred paper are built to work with regularly scheduled business customers and may not be interested or cost-effective for the average one-time shredding service job. If neither one sounds particularly appealing, it’s because they’re not.


What happens to my paper if I outsource shredding?

If you choose to use a professional shredding service to shred your confidential documents, the shredded paper will be baled and sent by truck to a paper mill. At the mill, the paper is mixed with chemicals and water that separate the fibers, resulting in a slurry of water and pulp.

Next, the slurry passes through a series of screens designed to remove larger contaminants such as plastic bags, glue, and staples. The slurry then moves onto centrifugal cleaning where it goes through a process in which it is spun rapidly eventually forming a cone or cylinder. This process causes lighter particles, such as plastics, to rise the top, and heavier materials, such as metals, to fall to the bottom so that they too can be removed.

Finally, the material is de-inked. The pulp is placed in a flotation device with chemicals and air bubbles which agitate the fibers causing dies and inks to release. Hydrogen peroxide is used on occasion to further bleach the pulp to get it as white as possible.

Once the pulp has been cleaned, it must by pressed and dried. In this step, the pulp is added to a conveyor belt where excess water is pressed out by heated rollers that transform the pulp into long sheets of paper. Once the sheets have been formed, the paper is trimmed, rolled, and sent to manufacturers. The recycled paper fibers find new life in products such as paper towels, egg cartons, wrapping paper, newspapers, and more.


Shred Vault System

Enter the revolutionary concept of the Shred Vault System, which provides secure and compliant paper shredding for all your sensitive documents (and even those that aren’t). The Shred Vault System combines the Shred Vault Bag with a web-based network of secure Shred Vaults (depository kiosks) operated through an easy to use app. Shred Vault Bags are ordered online or through the app and delivered directly to you. Once filled with up to 10 pounds of paper seal your Shred Vault Bag and check the app for a Shred Vault near you. There is no equipment to purchase or maintain and no company to negotiate with on price and scheduling. Simple, secure shredding your way, when you want it—at a price that makes sense. The best part of the Shred Vault System is all paper is securely maintained, tracked and fully recycled. Protecting the Shred Vault user and the planet.

Keep yourself safe from identity theft and out of the paper shredding business by trying Shred Vault today. All of the destroyed paper documents undergo a paper recycling process and are turned into paper products– something your typical office shredder can’t do.


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Hard Drive and Electronic Destruction is also available.