July 09, 2024

How secure is your office recycling?

From office inductions to local government campaigns and company policies – we all know about the importance of paper recycling.

However, the humble office recycling bin may not always be the right answer. With increasing emphasis on sustainability, companies often turn to paper recycling to meet their environmental goals. Simply recycling documents without correct security measures can lead to significant data breaches. Recycling bins can inadvertently create a hotbed of opportunity for data thieves, leaving confidential information unsecure and at risk.

The dangers of traditional document disposal

How does traditional paper recycling put you at risk of exposing confidential data?

  • Sitting unsecured: When employees drop paper containing confidential information into the office recycling bin, these files are left in the open.
  • Left out: Once collected by cleaning staff, documents are often stored in large plastic bags - not in a lock-and-key solution.
  • Go outdoors: These bags are then placed in outdoor recycling bins for collection. Your confidential information is now exposed to everyone outside your building.
  • Transported away: Intact documents are loaded onto trucks for transportation to sorting facilities. Vehicles may not be secure and have no guaranteed destruction time.
  • Destruction and recycling: Eventually, documents are destroyed and recycled. The sorting process is generally undertaken by unvetted staff.

As you can see, the documents do eventually get destroyed and recycled. But at every stage of the process, confidential files are exposed repeatedly.

Using a secure document destruction process

For businesses handling confidential information, safeguarding it is paramount and required to stay compliant with data protection laws. When implementing a secure document destruction process, you need confidence that your confidential information will be destroyed securely, and in an environmentally responsible way.

When working with Shred-it, the secure document destruction process begins with the use of secure consoles. These tamper-proof containers are strategically placed within the workplace, allowing employees to deposit confidential documents safely. The consoles feature a slot preventing documents from being retrieved once they are deposited.

The contents of the Shred-it consoles are collected at regular intervals. The documents are either shredded on-site or transported to a secure facility for destruction within 24 hours. All personnel involved in this process are thoroughly vetted ensuring the highest level of trust and security.

Once shredded, the paper is sent to a recycling mill. The material is recycled into other products, contributing to your sustainability efforts. To provide peace of mind and maintain a record of compliance, a Certificate of Destruction is issued to each customer after each service to confirm your documents have been securely destroyed.

By using a secure document destruction process, businesses can achieve the best of both worlds – ensuring their confidential information remains protected while contributing positively to the environment.

Making sure you choose the right process

For some of your office papers, the traditional method will suffice. However, your employees will need to be aware of the dangers of using regular recycling bins to discard confidential information – even if they have shredded it first themselves.

By partnering with a secure information destruction provider, you can ensure your secure data is destroyed sooner, minimising the potential for security breaches. Best of all, your papers are still securely recycled post-destruction, boosting your sustainability credentials.

Find out more about our secure shredding services for your office.