19th August  //  written by Mark Hadley
documents shredding secure

The first thing you need to do is to think about whether you need to get your documents shredded for a business, or as a private individual and why you need to get them shredded, as there are often some quite different considerations to be taken into account and this will have a bearing on the cost of securely destroying your documents.

For an individual

Most individuals are now aware that insecure disposal of their old paperwork could leave them open to identity theft, which in turn can result in criminals accessing your bank accounts, or other financial institutions such as pension funds but just letting someone get hold of your name, address and telephone number can provide enough initially for criminals to start constructing their own avatar with your details.

This can lead to financial loss or damage to your credit rating, where very commonly criminals use these details in order to buy goods online with your details which are sent then to their safe-house but you get the companies recovery staff and eventually their bailiffs after YOU, as the bills were run up in your name.

Don’t forget also that apart from letters and documents to include in your secure shredding – receipts, credit card receipts, bills and even used airline tickets. You should also immediately shred expired credit cards, visas, passports, and IDs.

Now, unless you have been storing all your old documents since birth you’re unlikely to have vast amounts, but we have been asked on occasion to clear the odd loft or garage full.  The simplest solution is to have a supply of secure sacks with security ties, which can be folded away until needed. That way you can fill up a sack somewhere indoors, or at the end of the year with all the old documents that need shredding.

We are able to offer free sacks in advance if you are in our service area, which is Sussex, then when  the sack is full we collect it and shred it at our Ditchling depot just North of Brighton starting from for just £5.00 a sack plus VAT

If you have a lot of old boxes or even filing cabinets at home full of documents, we can give you a quote based on a quick visit, and then arrange to collect and securely shred all the old files and papers, and as the quantities get larger, we can offer discounts too!

For a business

Business volumes will be larger and most of the volume of documentation and filing created will depend on the nature of the business.  So for example,  if it was a hairdressing business the amount of paperwork will be very small, maybe some credit card receipts, invoices for hair products and bills from service providers compared to say a solicitors where  very large amounts of documents are generated over many years, and because the solicitor may have to refer back to hard copy deeds and documents, plans and reports, these may have originated in the pre-digital era.

Businesses often have a storage system for their records, as they are required to hold records for a number or reasons, mainly for the purposes of the tax authorities for a minimum of 6 years. The system may then require all records older than say 7 years are to be destroyed on an annual basis.

However they are generated, the old documents and filing needs to be destroyed for three very good reasons:

  1. Filing or document storage takes up space, and space costs money, work out what it costs in a modern leased office to provide 1 square metre of floor space p.a. then work out how much floor space is occupied by your filing, then multiply the two to get the real cost of holding your records!
  2. The more written documentation you hold, the more data you hold, should those records fall into the wrong hands (and how many businesses hold their records off-site in some very dodgy, cheap units, miles from anywhere to keep storage costs low) and you will realise what we mean.
  3. The GDPR is coming next May, with huge penalties for businesses that have a data breach, you can read about in an earlier blog GDPR Regulation

Now for the costs.  Much will depend on how the documentation is stored, the more organised and easier to move, the  cheaper will be the solution.  If your documents are stored in those typical archive boxes, they hold about 15 kg of documents, if they have been carefully stored indoors and can easily be picked up and carried out to the shredding company’s collection vehicle then this will save a lot of time, if however they look like this when you arrive, then the job is going to take a bit of extra time!

Document Shredding Challenge

We would charge per box, usually from about £4.99 for a single box with substantial discounts for larger quantities, the costs include collection, documentation and shredding offsite and providing certification of destruction afterwards, if required by the customer.

Alternatively if you are based in the South-East and have a minimum of 40 of these boxes to shred at one time then it might make sense to have an on-site shred, using our mobile shredders.  We can charge per box, or by the minute whilst on site which some customers prefer. We charge just for time ‘shredding’ which is around £2 per minute depending where you are based, and it takes that time to shred one sack or archive box (approximately) to US Defence Standard 8mm, the finest shred in the UK, so you can get an idea of what a large job might cost and how long it might take,we are the ONLY UK Shredding Co. that shreds to 8mm.

If your documents are stored in filing cabinets, mixed random boxes, on shelves in ring binders or palletized in a warehouse somewhere then it may take more time to extract them and get them shredded. You can save on costs obviously, by stripping the documentation yourself and bagging it up in sacks, we will supply sacks free for you in advance, but a lot of companies don’t have staff available or willing to decant large amounts of documentation. If this is the case, we can provide large 1100L bins into which you can tip all the files and documents loose, or in ring binders or bags, and we will then take the bins away with our tail-lift trucks and shred them all offsite for you.

We can charge by the bin load, but we need to see what type of documents need destruction so we can quote customers properly. Remember you can leave on folders, files, ring binders, paperclips, staples, spiral spines, poly pockets we can shred everything with our State-of-the-Art AXO Shredding Systems.