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Common Questions About Document Shredding Services

Common Questions About Document Shredding Services

Whether you are a business with paper documents or records containing sensitive information about your clients or patients, or you have stored personal documents in your home, it’s important to make sure they don’t get into the wrong hands once you are ready to get rid of them. Having these types of documents shredded by a reliable, trusted professional company is the safest and most secure way to dispose of documents, hard drives, or other media containing confidential information.

When deciding on the type of shredding service you need and the expert company you want to partner with, there are common questions that may come up as you make these determinations. In this article, we will cover some of those frequently asked questions about document shredding services.

Common Questions About Document Shredding Services

What documents need to be shredded?

Many of the documents that should be shredded contain very personal and sensitive information that you need to protect either for yourself or your customers and clients.  Here are some examples of documents that should be shredded once they’re past their retention time,

  • Any unneeded documents containing social security numbers (SSN)
  • Documents containing account numbers, PINs, signatures, or passwords
  • Patient Records
  • Internal Financial Records
  • Retired hard drives
  • USB’s or CD’s
  • Utility Bills
  • Tax Records & W2 forms
  • Human Resources/Employee files and I9 forms
  • Payroll Records
  • Forms containing credit card numbers
  • Receipts
  • Old Bank Statements
  • Medical Bills
  • Insurance Forms
  • Employee Badges
  • Expired identification cards

These are just a few examples of sensitive documents or items that contain personal and confidential identification information.

Can non-paper items be shredded?

Shredding isn’t just for paper. In the list above, you may have noticed several different non-paper items to consider shredding to protect any sensitive information they may contain. Media such as hard drives, USB’s, CD’s, SIM cards, and old floppy disks are not easily wiped of the data it contains. Shredding these items is the most secure way to assure the data is unretrievable. 

Other non-paper items can include branded products, sample materials, deaccessioned collectables, or excess shipments of items that can contain proprietary information. These may require special plant-based destruction methods. Shredding is a secure way to reduce the risk of any unauthorized use.

Is shredding of business documentation required by law?

Yes, there are several well-known federal regulations, including HIPAA, FACTA (The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act), SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), and GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), that impact healthcare and non-healthcare businesses when it comes to managing documents containing client or customer personal information. These regulations involve managing and maintaining information security, physical safeguards, retention times, and properly destroying these items, to name a few topics these regulations address.

How does on-site mobile shredding work?

On-site, mobile shredding services are ideal for large paper shredding jobs, record purges, and clean-out services. Generally, these are large volumes of documents and records, or require witnessed destruction. The shred truck arrives to your location and then the documents or hard drives are loaded into the truck, which is equipped with an on-board paper shredder and separate hard drive/media shredder. Read more about how mobile shredding works and the ability to watch it in real time here.

What’s the difference between off-site and on-site shredding?

The biggest difference between off-site and on-site shredding services is the ability to watch the shredding. For off-site or plant service, the documents or items for shredding are picked up and securely transported back to a facility to be destroyed. Items such as x-rays, branded products, or large parcels require off-site shredding due to the nature of the material, size of the items, or how they will be recycled. Sometimes this is the more economical option when witness destruction is not a requirement.

On-site service, as mentioned, is a curbside service in which paper documents or hard drives are shredded on a mobile truck specifically designed for shredding large amounts of paper or hard drive destruction. At BWS, our state-of-the-art mobile shred trucks are equipped with cameras and monitors on board that allow you to closely watch the secure shredding process as it happens.

Are shredded documents recycled?

Yes, at BWS our goal is to recycle everything!  We partner with a variety of recyclers so that the assorted items we pick up for shredding have a final destination after being destroyed, to then be recycled for reuse.

How much does document shredding services cost?

Shredding service costs can vary and are generally based on volume and service type (on-site, off-site, recurring, etc). If there are logistical concerns with accessing the facility or documents, that may impact your pricing. The type of documents or materials you need shredded, such as paper, x-rays, media, and hard drives all may have different costs because of the various destruction methods. It’s best to provide as much detail as possible when discussing your shredding project with the shredding service provider so there are no surprise charges.

What is a Certificate of Destruction?

A certificate of destruction is your proof indicating you took the proper steps to dispose of or destroy documents, records, or other items containing sensitive and confidential information. You may be required to produce this documentation during a compliance audit.

Why Should I Hire a Professional Shredding Service?

Hiring a professional to manage your shredding needs has many benefits. It saves time, improves efficiency in the workplace, and gives you peace of mind that sensitive documents are safely handled and destroyed by experts that understand compliance regulations. At BWS, we have over 45 years experience safely collecting, transporting, and disposing of records, documents, hard drives, and more, containing confidential and personal identifiable information generated by a variety of clients in the mid-Atlantic area, including Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. We are committed to providing our customers with secure, reliable document and media destruction services they can count on to keep them compliant and protect their client’s confidential information. Call or contact us today to partner with a local, experienced, professional document shredding management company.

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Kate Blair English

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Keith Roberts, Biomatrix Specialty Pharmacy

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Mireia Pedragosa Marin, Synergy Research

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Rebecca Crouse, Randolph Macon Academy

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Melissa C, Patriot Chiropractic

Excellent, professional service and very reasonable price on medical waste removal. Danielle was fantastic to work with - thanks Danielle!

Dr. Rosario Ignacio

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Dr. Thomas Lutz, Odenton Family Dentistry

I've used BWS for several years now. Their service is great and their fees are very reasonable, making BWS a great value in hazardous waste removal. Over the 20+ years that I have used them the scope of their services has increased as well as making documentation of their service easier to use!

Dr. Louis Sachs, DDS

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