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For years now, we have been told that the best way to dispose of our unwanted paper, plastic and even some metals is through careful recycling. Whether that’s putting it all into separate bins at home or delivering it to recycling plants from work, we have been conditioned to believe that recycling is the way forward. And it absolutely is. But there is a hidden step you should be doing before that, one that makes recycling a better, cleaner, more secure process – and that’s shredding.

More Secure

For a start, access to recycling and scrap paper facilities is generally not restricted or monitored in any way. Even public dump sites don’t really offer any security guarantees – all it takes is someone to slip through while the attendants aren’t paying attention. Equally, scrap, recycling and dump site employees aren’t usually required to vigorously screened, so you don’t really know who is handling the recycled documents you are handing in. There is also no documented acceptance of responsibility for data when recycling documents, which may potentially put you in breach of the Data Protection Act. Finally, any contaminated paper received by recycling plants that is deemed unacceptable will generally be disposed of as a whole, intact document, leaving it at huge risk of exposure.

Better For The Environment 

Recycling bins tend to be full of complete documents, thrown in there because it’s simpler than shredding them first. But on average, a single document actually takes up more space within the bin than the shreddings it creates. So a recycling bin full of shreddings will be able to fit more documents within it than one full of pieces of paper, so you will be saving on emissions from all the vans removing the recycling. Also, if you deliver your documents to a shredding facility for processing and recycling, your carbon footprint for those documents is vastly reduced. Not only that, but it takes less energy to process shredded paper than whole paper for recycling plants, so you can help save energy and turn recycling plants into even greener places (if that was possible).

Be Compliant

And of course, there’s the data security aspect. As a business owner, you have a duty of care to your clients, suppliers and employees to handle, store and dispose of any data relating to them in a safe and secure manner. Recycling might seem like ‘disposal’, but actually this doesn’t cut it when it comes to the law. Instead, the most sure fire way to ensure you are completely compliant with all aspects of data protection – and that you are doing everything in your power to make sure that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands – is to shred all of your documentation. Every single scrap of paper that has any information on it whatsoever, even if it’s just a post-it from a meeting with a colleague about a project, should be shredded and sent for secure recycling for optimum protection.


At Greenaway, we understand the importance of both document security an eco-friendliness for businesses. That’s why we make sure our services are cost effective and simple to use, so that any business owner can enjoy the complete security of their printed data without breaking the bank. For more information, or to book your shredding session, get in touch with us today.