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In case you haven’t been on social media or watching the news recently (in which case, where have you been?), the world is currently going through a bit of an environmental crisis. There has never been so much awareness about the state of our planet, or just how much of an impact we as a species has had on it. And one of the cries going up at the moment is for people in general, but businesses in particular, to increase the amount of waste they are recycling, instead of sending to landfill. But as a business, how do you balance the need to maintain data security with the want to recycle?


Why Businesses?

Put simply, because businesses are the biggest culprit. Businesses of all shapes and sizes consume more resources than the average individual ever could, and they also produce much more waste, often of a more damaging type. And because most businesses are concerned with profit, there is not much incentive to change ingrained behaviours when they could lose money. Businesses are being called on to reduce their carbon footprints, invest in proper disposal and recycling and create new ways to manage their supply chain that reduce their impact on the environment. Some councils are starting to tackle this by introducing dedicated recycling programs for businesses, but this has yet to really take hold. So for now, for every 100 individuals who commit to reduce, reuse and recycle, the same positive environmental impact could be made by just 1 business doing the same.


So What’s The Answer?

The answer, as it turns out, is pretty simple, because businesses are in the remarkable position of being able to have their cake and eat it too. Most of the confidential data waste businesses produce is in 2 forms – paper documents or digital media. Both of these things, when handled properly, can be destroyed (keeping you in line with GDPR), and then recycled.

Paper documentation can be stored in a secure, lockable unit until it is collected by a shred-on-site service like ours, where it will be destroyed by one of our specialist shredding lorries. This process not only shreds your documents to minuscule fragments that the most dedicated data thief couldn’t put back together, but it also mixed your paperwork in with any other documents that we have shredded that day, meaning the chances of anyone finding the right pieces to put together are less than 0.01%. So that’s a big tick in the security box.

The same goes for digital data devices. When your business is getting rid of IT equipment and hardware that’s reached the end of its, life there will still be traces of information stored on it, no matter how thoroughly it’s been wiped. But by shredding that device – be it a hard drive, a laptop, a phone or even a printer, you can remove all traces of data and make it physically impossible to retrieve. Another big tick.

One paper has been shredded, it is taken back to our distribution warehouse, where it is formed into bales. This waits for a weekly collection, which takes the shredded paper to various recycling plants around the country to be pulped down and turned into new paper products. Ensuring your paper is actually recycled as a business owner is tough on your own, but by using a shredding service, you can guarantee that’s what’s going to happen to it. Similarly, computer waste and shredding is picked up from our distribution centres and taken to sorting plants, where the various metals are separated out to be used in the manufacture of new devices. The waste rate for this method of disposal is so minimal, that you are reducing your carbon footprint to basically zero.


At Greenaway, we help businesses across the country enjoy the security and the ethical disposal of confidential data, through an outsourced shredding service. You can either drop your shredding into one of our centres, or opt to use out shred-on-site service, which will equip you with the ability to store your documents and devices while they await shredding securely, and have them disposed of safely before they are recycled. If you would like to know more about how we can help you meet your green initiatives, save the planet and keep your business safe, get in touch with us today.