Behind the Scenes of an Off-Site Shredding Service
It was a Bright and Sunny Day
Every Thursday, at precisely three thirty in the afternoon, a uniformed man walks past my office door pulling an empty, locked shred collection bin behind him to the copy room. A minute later, he walks past my office again, pulling the full container that had been sitting in the copy room all week being fed discarded documents. Each week he would disappear out the doors with the still-locked container, never to be seen until the following Thursday afternoon. Every Thursday I asked myself the same questions: Where did he take that bin? What happened to the contents?
I needed to know.
The Paper Chase Begins
I was determined to find out what he was doing with our discarded paperwork, so I followed him out the door. I could tell he had noticed me in his peripheral vision. He seemed nervous. He stopped. I stopped. He turned back and stared at me while he stood in front of the container as if he were protecting it. He stared. I stared. He finally spoke. “Ma’am, I have to ask you to stop following me. These are protected documents.”
“I know,” I replied. “Some of those are mine. But I must know where you are taking them.” He stared. I stared. He looked at his watch and saw that he had just enough time to tell me where he was taking the bin of discarded paperwork.
A Journey to the Center of Destruction
“From here, you will see me load this container into my large truck. As I drive away, I will be followed, but not the way you think.” I looked at him curiously. He looked back with a grin. “I will be followed using GPS tracking, so it is important that I keep moving directly towards my destination. As you can tell,” he said, “Your documents are well protected. Our company tracks them from the moment I scan the barcode on the bin.” He was quite serious. I was quite impressed.
“When I drive the truck into the parking lot of our huge shredding plant, I will back up to the loading dock and get out. Here I will open the back of the truck which is filled with many other containers from other businesses.” I realized they must be good if this many organizations use this company’s shredding service.
The technician said, “The building is a well-protected and monitored. This is why, even if you were to visit, you wouldn’t be allowed inside the shredding area. No one besides authorized, background-screened employees are permitted.” Wow, I thought. This is serious business. “The containers are then offloaded and taken to another area that is locked. All of your sensitive documents are then shredded, mixed with thousands of pounds of shredded paper from other sources, baled, and sent to the recycling plant. All of this takes place under the watchful eye of multiple security cameras.”
“That’s impressive, but why?” I asked.
He explained, “Loss or theft of any papers with private information that we collect could cost someone their business if the information were to get into the wrong hands. We’re NAID AAA Certified, so we have the highest security standards in the industry to live up to. NAID is the standards-setting body for the information destruction industry, and independently verifies that we are compliant with all data protection regulations as well as their own strict security standards.”
“Your company has requested a Certificate of Destruction after shredding is complete. This proves that the information your company is responsible for was handled within a secure chain of custody until destruction. If you are audited, your company can prove its compliance with data privacy laws.”
Hey, I really like this shredding company! I reflected.
He went on to explain that the baled, shredded paper is sent to a recycling depot to be pulped and recycled into new paper products. So, in the process of protecting our clients’, employees’, and our own business and financial information, our little company gets to help prevent the unnecessary cutting of trees and protect the environment? I thought. Win-win!
With that, he looked at his watch again and was on his way. Now that I knew where our documents were going, I was grateful that we had invested into the services of this shredding company.
The Nashville Way
Utilizing the secure and professional services of a shredding company to keep your information secure is one of the fundamental ways to stay compliant with state and federal data privacy laws. For the most secure and compliant document destruction available, leave it to the professionals.
Richards & Richards is the oldest NAID AAA Certified shredding company in Nashville, and we proudly serve the businesses and residents of this city and all of Central Tennessee. For more information or for a shredding quote, simply pick up the phone and call 615-242-9600 or complete the form on this page.