Lifecycle of a Document: Shredding and Recycling

Recycling bins are great for helping the environment, but they can inadvertently create a hotbed of opportunity for data thieves by leaving confidential information unsecured and at risk.

By using a secure information destruction provider, documents are destroyed much sooner, minimising the potential for security breaches – and the paper is still 100% recycled

Traditional document disposal process with a recycling bin

  1. Confidential documents are dropped into a recycling bin and sit unsecured. The average UK office worker gets through 6,000 sheets of paper each year.

  2. Once collected by cleaning staff, documents are usually left in clear plastic bags. Almost half of frauds against the private sector involve someone inside the organisation.

  3. Materials may be placed in unlocked outdoor recycling bins for collection. Your information is now exposed to everyone outside your building. 

  4. Intact documents are loaded into a lorry for transportation to the sorting facility. With no guaranteed destruction time, information is exposed indefinitely and no proof of destruction is provided.

  5. Documents are sorted, generally by unvetted staff, prior to recycling.​

  6. Eventually, documents are destroyed by the recycling process. Documents are ultimately destroyed BUT confidential information is exposed repeatedly throughout the process.

Shred-it's secure document destruction process

  1. Confidential documents are dropped into a secure console. Shred-it's consoles have a tamper-proof slot ensuring documents can't be retrieved.

  2. Consoles are emptied and documents are destroyed on-site or within 24 hours at a secure facility. All Shred-it employees are security vetted to the BS7858 standard, including criminal record check.

  3. Shredded paper is then sent to a paper mill for recycling. A Certificate of Destruction is provided to every customer.

Recycled and Secured

Once confidential information is dropped into a Shred-it console, it remains secure until it is destroyed.

Most businesses and organisations these days want to be ‘green’ – and paper recycling goes a long way towards hitting sustainability targets and demonstrating environmental good practice.  But good intentions could be putting firms at risk of a data breach if confidential information ends up in the recycling.

When you’re looking at information security risks in your workplace, the recycling bin could be a good place to start.  In this infographic you’ll see how the confidential document shredding and recycling process compares to simply recycling documents.  Download it now to discover:

  • The many risk points in the recycling process
  • Why shredding and recycling helps protect confidentiality
  • How you can get the best of both worlds – security and sustainability – with secure paper recycling

Get the Infographic