In a world where identity theft and data breaches are a very real concern, protecting your most confidential documents and documentation is imperative.
Due to these risks, shredding paper has become commonplace in businesses and homes across the world. But have you ever wondered what happens to those tiny strands of shredded paper? Can they be recycled and if so, what’s the process?
If you’ve ever wondered about this, then you’re in the right place!
Why Should You Shred Paper?
We’ve already touched on the primary reason people choose to shred paper – protecting sensitive information. However, in this article, we’ll delve into some other reasons why shredding paper documents has become so common.
Reasons to Shred Paper
Compliance with Regulations
There are numerous pieces of legislation in the UK which regulate the methods individuals & businesses must follow when disposing of documentation. Specifically, GDPR compliance states that businesses that shred documents containing customer information in-house are required to prove they were destroyed and disposed of in the correct manner.
Many of us across the UK hold onto meaningless and unimportant documentation for years. Drawers upon drawers, brimming with paper, that’ll never have any purpose.
Freeing up time to shred any unnecessary paper found across your home is a great way to discard your old documentation quickly and safely and is helpful in making your home feel a bit more organised.
Reduction in Fire Hazards
It’s common knowledge that paper burns fast. Piles of unused paper around the office or your home can become a dangerous fire hazard, if anything were to happen.
Routinely removing unused paper or documentation could be the difference between a manageable or catastrophic fire.
How to Prepare Shredded Paper for Recycling
Compared to whole paper, recycling shredded paper requires extra steps.
Preparing shredded paper correctly ensures the process is smooth and the recycle potential is maximised.
Below, we’ve detailed the various steps to prepare and collect shredded paper for recycling.
Three Steps to Preparing Shredded Paper for Recycling
Gather the shredded paper and place it into designated bags or containers for disposal. If you have various forms of shredded paper (cross-cut, strip-cut, micro-cut etc.) separate them into different bags to help aid the recycling process.
Removal of Contaminants:
Removing any contaminants before recycling is a crucial part of the process. Common examples of these are paper clips, staples, or plastic coverings.
Failing to remove these fragile items can interfere with the process so taking the time to discard anything that may impact recycling should be a priority.
If you’ve ever dealt with a large amount of shredded paper, you’ll know it can be messy. To prevent a chaotic trail of tiny pieces during transportation, we recommend placing the shredding into strong, sturdy bags or containers to be recycled.
Various Methods of Recycling Shredded Paper
There are various methods of recycling shredded paper. From dedicated paper recycling companies to hobbyist composting – we’ll explore some ways to responsibly dispose of it.
Dedicated Paper Recycling Companies
These are companies that specialise in recycling paper and will often accept shredded waste. Many of these recycle companies can also provide secure, ensuring that your confidential information remains protected while being recycled.
Public Recycling Centres
Utilising a local recycling centre is an easy and more direct approach. These are places dedicated to accepting the public’s own recyclable materials and waste.
If you’re unsure where your local recycling centre is, we’ve provided a link below to help.
If you have an existing composting system at home, you can use your shredded paper as effective compost material. Ensure the shredded paper is not glossy or coloured, as this can introduce dangerous chemicals to the compost.
Adding shredded waste to your compost bin can be a great addition. One particular study found that paper is less toxic than straw or grass! It’s also a fun and beneficial way to reuse the shredded remains!
If you have small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, or birds, shredded waste can serve as excellent bedding material for small pets! Before use, just ensure that the shredded paper is free from harmful inks or chemicals.
Your furry or feathered friend will appreciate the comfortable and environmentally friendly bedding, while you’ve found an alternative use for it all!
Our Glasgow Paper Shredding Services
Securely shred and recycle your unwanted documents with GTW Storage.
We offer convenient pick-up services, comply with the Data Protection Act, and provide a certificate of destruction to safeguard your privacy and support sustainability.
Whether you need one-time or bulk shredding, we’re here to help. Contact our team for a custom quote today!