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When we talk about shredding, most people’s minds immediately go to paper. While the majority of materials shredding services handle is paper based, they are often asked to handle different types of materials as well. These materials may need to be destroyed for security reasons (for example law enforcement uniforms or military computers), or because they are no longer needed or useable. These materials cannot be shredded or destroyed at home. Instead they will need to be taken to a professional shredding facility. These facilities can handle multiple types of materials, including the following.



There are many reasons you may want to shred fabric. It could contain confidential information such as company logos and contact details, or it could be too worn out to be donated. In cases like these, the fabric can be shredded instead. Shredded fabric can be recycled into other materials, like fibrefill, stuffing for couches and cushions or turned into cleaning rags. But don’t try to shred materials at home! Home shredding units are only designed to cope with paper, and will struggle with particularly thick card, let alone fabric. Instead if you want to shred fabric, you will need to use a professional service equipped to handle fabric shredding.


Hard Drives

In the digital age a lot of our data is stored electronically, rather than in paper format. However, this makes the data much more difficult to erase. You can delete the files from your machine, but the data will still be stored on your hard drive. When you sell on a computer, you should always make sure to remove the hard drive to protect your information. But then you are left with a hard drive full of information that you can’t do anything with. To securely dispose of it, you can shred it. Specialist shredders are equipped with heavy duty machinery that renders the casing and data stored inside completely unreadable.



Of course if you decide not to sell on your computer, or if it is not suitable for sale, you can find yourself stuck with a machine you no longer want and cannot remove your personal information from. Data stored on computers can be destroyed in many ways, but the most popular option is to granulate or shred the entire machine. The computer is fed into the shredder whole, and pulled apart into strips or pieces that cannot be put back together. These pieces of metal can then be recycled and made into new machines. You can see the process of shredding a whole computer in this video.



Companies often want to have their cardboard boxes shredded after use in order to protect confidential information. Billing addresses, logos and other information can be printed on cardboard boxes, all of which could be used by fraudsters Cardboard is a very difficult and labour intensive thing to shred or cut apart, so they send it to shredding facilities to be destroyed and recycled into new cardboard. Some people also use shredded cardboard as a mulch component for gardening and compost. This required the cardboard to be shredded into very small pieces and mixed with water. Rather than spending hours cutting away at cardboard with a knife, they can take it down to a shredding facility to be shredded and bring it back again.


X-Rays & Plastic

Shredding is an integral part of the recycling process for plastics. Shredding plastics for recycling is a difficult task largely due to the amount of different types of plastics and the extra materials attached to them. Plastic shredding is often done at recycling facilities rather than by a dedicated shredding facility. A lot of waste is produced by shredding plastics, including rejected parts, sprues, runners, lumps and purging’s. The medical profession often uses plastic shredding to dispose of X-Rays or other plastic waste.


The destruction of confidential information is always something that causes concern, especially if there is no way for you to dispose of that information yourself. That’s why shredding services have evolved to handle such a wide variety of materials. No matter what your materials, there will be a facility out there capable of destroying them for you. For more information about your local shredding services, get in touch today.