Does Paper Shredding Really Benefit the Environment?

A plant growing out of a pot filled with paper shreddings.Lynn’s Story

As a Nashville business owner, if you were to ask me why I have a professional shredding company destroy my paper documents, I would give you a long list including:

  • To keep file cabinets, office drawers, and desktops clear of paperwork
  • It’s required by law to properly destroy sensitive and private information, and the shredding company provides me with a Certificate of Destruction to prove my compliance with data privacy laws
  • To protect my staff and clients’ information by decreasing the risk of identity theft and fraud
  • It saves the company time and money because we can simply drop all discarded documents and files into a locked shredding collection container until the next shredding service

Save a Tree

I’m not sure I realized that another great reason to use the services of a shredding company is that it is beneficial to the environment. My shredding company recycles 100% of the paper they shred in order to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources. I also found out that if we were to shred our documents in-house, not only would there be no Certificate of Destruction in case of an audit, but it also turns out that our waste management company can’t even take shredded paper in the curbside recycling stream!

For every ton of recycled paper, 17 trees, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 9 barrels of oil are saved, just to name a few statistics. I can’t stand the thought of all that wasted paper clogging the landfill when my shredding company already has a recycling solution in place to turn it into new paper products.

Leave a Tree

When trees are left alone rather than being harvested to make paper, it further protects our earth because trees:

  • Consume the carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that cause climate change, and replaces it with oxygen.
  • Boost our mental health in the places we reside, walk, and relax.
  • Clean the air by removing many airborne pollutants.
  • Provide wildlife habitats that are key to a healthy environment.
  • Provide shade, controlling temperatures for humans and wildlife alike.
  • Store and filter more than half of the water supply in the United States. They remove pollutants and sediments from rainfall and slowly release the water back into waterways and underground aquifers.
  • Reinforce and dry soils, preventing shallow landslides and rock falls.

Protect the Land

About 12% of municipal solid waste is comprised of paper and cardboard materials. When it is kept out of the landfill, that space can be used for other materials—or the landfill can simply occupy a smaller footprint. The amazing part of recycling paper into new products is that paper can be recycled up to 6 times before the fibers become too weak to be reused, so the benefits multiply every time. As a huge added bonus, recycling facilities create jobs and improve the local economy.

Clear the Air

Not only is letting paper pile up in the landfill poor waste management, but when paper decomposes, it releases methane and other toxic gases, some of which also contribute to climate change.

Shred Your Paper

Shredding paper really does benefit the environment because when your documents are destroyed by a professional shredding company, they can recycle 100% of your shredded material into other products, keeping it out of landfill and saving trees.

Richards & Richards is Nashville’s oldest NAID AAA Certified shredding company, and we proudly serve all of Central Tennessee. We shred millions of pounds of paper annually, protecting your data and the planet. To schedule your shredding service, give us a call at 615-242-9600 or complete the form on this page. We’re standing by to answer all of your questions!

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