Comparing On-Site and Off-Site Shredding

Cartoon-style illustration of a young man with his arms crossed and holding his chin. Two thought bubbles containing question marks suggest that he is considering two options.In simple terms, “on-site shredding” refers to the shredding of confidential documents at your place of business, using a truck equipped with a mobile document shredding system. Off-site shredding refers to shredding your sensitive documents at a secure shredding facility operated by your document shredding service. In both scenarios, shredding companies typically do the following:

  • Supply secure document containers where you securely discard your files prior to shredding
  • Issue a Certificate of Destruction upon completion of shredding
  • NAID AAA Certified adhere to the highest data protection standards in the industry.

Here are some differences to compare.


Off-site shredding offers the same convenience as on-site shredding, but instead of your staff having to witness the shredding operation, your shredding provider quickly and quietly swaps out the containers with little or no distraction to your employees or your business.


On-site shredding is designed so that your data is destroyed at your premises to avoid the possibility of information being breached off-site. In contrast, plant-based shredding companies are just as legally and ethically bound to protect your data to the point of destruction.

Any plant-based shredding service should have perimeter and/or indoor security monitoring and have criminal background checks done on all employees. Taking it a big step further, NAID AAA Certified shredding providers are subject to random audits to ensure their operation meets the highest security standards in the industry, including:

  • Operational and facility security
  • Information destruction processes
  • Employee hiring practices
  • Liability Insurance

If you need to witness your documents being shredded, a first-class plant-based shredding service should be able to arrange that for you.


The cost of off-site shredding is lower because it doesn’t require the company to spend time at your site shredding, and your business doesn’t have to designate a staff member to witness the process when they could be attending to their regular responsibilities.


Shred trucks can be very noisy, which could be an issue depending where your business is located, such as at a hospital or in a residential neighborhood. The value of taking your shredding off-site is that it eliminates the on-site shredding process and the pick up is done in minimal time.


Running a shred truck on gasoline or diesel the entire time it’s shredding papers—sometimes for an hour or more—just creates a stinky cloud of exhaust, adding to carbon crisis. In contrast, off-site plant-based shredding is run on the local electric grid, which can use any number of sources of clean energy, such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric.


Off-site shredding does require transporting the documents from your business to a centralized location, but you have choices about how your documents are delivered, including:

  • Scheduled pick up at your location
  • Drop off at the shredding plant

If you are looking for a secure information destruction service, consider the convenience of a locally-owned and operated, NAID AAA Certified, plant-based shredding company.

Richards & Richards provides off-site plant-based shredding services to clients throughout Nashville. To tell us about your shredding needs, just give us a call at 615-242-9600 or complete the form on this page.

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