Securing The Future.

8 Reasons You Should Use A Document Destruction Service In 2024


There are many reasons why having an office-sized shredding machine for document destruction may seem like a better option than using a professional shredding service.

  • A shredding machine is a capital expenditure with tax benefits and without the ongoing costs of using a shredding service.
  • Having it near at hand in the office is fast, convenient and prevents sensitive documents from leaving the premises
  • It can be operated by an office junior in their spare time.

If only life were that simple! In reality, there are many more reasons – ranging from hidden costs to your business’s survival being threatened – why having an office shredder is likely to be the worst decision.

Let’s look at some of the problems that using an office shredder can bring in 2024.

It’s a more efficient use of your time

save time and money iconMost office shredders can only handle relatively small amounts of paper at a time. This means that any reasonable volume of documents needs to be fed through the machine in small batches.

The temptation is always to try to speed this up a bit by steadily increasing the number of pages fed through in each batch, and this will inevitably result in the machine jamming. A jammed shredding machine isn’t always cleared easily and can take many frustrating minutes, or even an engineer callout, to fix it.

As many office shredders can’t take staples, paperclips, binding strips and suchlike, these must all be removed before feeding documents into the shredder – another time-consuming and laborious task that nobody enjoys.

Finally, the waste bin that collects all the shredded paper fills surprisingly rapidly and needs to be emptied. Each time it is full, the bin (or the bin liner) holding the shredded paper must be removed, taken to a recycling bin to be emptied and then returned to the shredder. Time and again.

With the SECURALL® secure document destruction and recycling service from Avena Group, discarded documents are placed in a secure, lockable console as easily as posting a letter.

It’s more cost-effective than an office shredder

cost effectiveWhile the capital cost of a shredding machine may seem small compared with the ongoing costs of using a professional shredding service, several hidden costs can be easily overlooked.

When you decide to invest in a shredding machine for your office, you may imagine that it will be operated by your lowest-paid member of staff to keep the costs down. After all, it’s something they can do in their idle moments between other tasks, surely?

That’s all good in theory, but the reality is that if you’re going to comply with GDPR and the Data Protection Act (more about that later), you mustn’t allow sensitive documents to be left lying around unsecured, waiting for someone to deal with them. If the staff member has to divert from other tasks to shred documents, the savings you imagined at the outset will be lost.

Remember what we said about paper shredding jams? They happen a lot more frequently than you think, and as the blades begin to clog up with paper dust and wear, the jams are likely to happen more often. Even if a staffer manages to clear the blockage their time has been money, and if you have to call out an engineer to fix it, the costs will start to rise steeply.

With SECURALL, you will be charged a fixed rate either for on-demand collections or as a monthly contract; no unpleasant extra surprises or hidden costs.

It’s less disruptive to your office environment

officeAn office shredder typically generates 65 decibels of noise, equivalent to that of a washing machine, although this can rise to 80 decibels or more. Unless you work in an exceptionally noisy office or the London Stock Exchange, you’re likely to be distracted and irritated by that level of noise every time a document is shredded.

Office shredders create fine paper dust which can cause problems with other office machinery such as blocking the cooling fans on electronic equipment. It can also be a problem for any staff who have respiratory problems.

Shredded paper also has an uncanny knack for spreading itself around the office, however carefully it is handled, so unless you like working in an office that looks like the aftermath of a Fourth of July ticker-tape parade, you’re going to be regularly cleaning up after it.

The SECURALL console fits unobtrusively into any office environment, creating no noise, dust or mess. Each time the console is emptied, the visiting SECURALL customer service representative will ensure no mess is left behind.

It’s more environmentally friendly

sustainability green

Shredded office paper generally makes good recycled pulp that produces a high yield of quality paper fibre, but if it is mixed up with other paper and card waste – as is the case with most recyclable waste from offices and commercial premises – the average quality is reduced. Its route from office to pulp mill is also a long one, increasing its carbon footprint.

Using SECURALL for your document destruction and recycling ensures large volumes of uncontaminated office paper waste are delivered to the pulp mills, resulting in a higher percentage of reusable pulp. Bulk transport also reduces the carbon footprint per tonne of paper waste.

It’s the most secure method of data destruction

Many office shredders use what iscompliant called a strip cut. As the name suggests, this only slices documents into thin strips parallel to the direction of the cut. It is therefore quite feasible for the documents to be reassembled by joining the strips in the correct order and recovering the information.

The industrial shredding equipment used by professional document destruction companies uses a cross-cut method that cuts the paper both along and across the direction of the cut.

Yes, some office shredders offer cross-cutting, but this can sometimes be too coarse to satisfy the requirements of GDPR. With the industrial shredders used by professional document destruction companies, the particles of paper are so tiny that even the most determined and patient felon would find it impossible to reconstruct a document.

Data security is also a problem when discarded documents are being handled in the office environment. As we’ve already mentioned, documents cannot be left unsecured while the shredder is being unjammed, if there is a queue for the shredder, or if a staffer is finishing another task; this is potentially a data breach that contravenes GDPR and could have serious consequences.

In-house security risks are a very real threat, particularly if staffers who are disgruntled or stand to make dishonest money see an opportunity to steal sensitive documents. With the SECURALL system, the disposal of documents doesn’t have to be entrusted to other staffers, as personnel who are authorised to handle the documents can easily dispose of them in the consoles, where they will wait securely for collection.

business securityIt protects you, whatever the size of your business

Whatever the size of your business, if you handle personal data belonging to any living person including employees or subcontractors, customers or patients, you are a potential victim of fraud. Sensitive information related to product development, marketing activities, pricing structures and supply chains can also be a valuable target. Identity theft, blackmail, corporate espionage and financial fraud are just some of the crimes made possible by data breaches.

Even if you think you are too small to be of interest to criminals, investing in a single serviced SECURALL console will give you valuable peace of mind and assure your contacts that their information is safe in your hands.

It proves your GDPR compliance

Checklist 2

If you use an office shredder, you have no evidence to prove that you have destroyed sensitive data to GDPR requirements.

As part of the SECURALL secure document destruction service, you will be issued a certificate of destruction with every consignment collected from your premises. These certificates are invaluable proof that you have maintained full compliance with GDPR, in the event of a data security audit.

As a professional secure data destruction service, SECURALL also insists that all its customer service representatives who visit customer premises and empty their secure consoles are BS7858 security vetted and DBS checked. By using a recognised professional service, you will demonstrate further your commitment to data protection.

It could save you from ruin

unprotectedAs we have already said, the size of your business is no guarantee that you could become a victim of a data breach. Remember, sensitive data doesn’t need to fall into the wrong hands or become publicly available for a breach to occur; there can be consequences even if it can be proved that data hasn’t been adequately protected.

While the response to a data breach is generally in proportion to the scale and nature of the breach, fines of a minimum of £17,000,000 and imprisonment can be imposed on companies and their officers. A breach can also damage the reputation of an organisation if stakeholders no longer feel their data is safe in its hands.

Commercially sensitive information doesn’t fall under GDPR, but its theft can be equally devastating. A company whose trade secrets, development plans, supply chain or pricing structure are leaked to competitors can suffer a serious setback or even fail completely.

act nowAs you can see, while an office shredding machine may seem to be the cheapest and easiest option, when all the factors are weighed in the balance the benefits fall in favour of using a document shredding service.

If we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to know more about SECURALL secure document destruction and recycling, register your interest below or contact us.


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