Facts About Document Shredding


Here at FileShred, we thought that you would find these facts about paper shredding very interesting and better highlight the importance of hiring a professional document destruction service like FileShred.

  • The first paper shredding machine was patented in 1909. Its inventor, Brooklyn’s Abbot Augustus Lowe, sadly never got to see his invention put into production since he passed away three years after it was patented.
  • Trash put to the curb is considered public property. Unfortunately, identity thieves know this. According to the landmark 1988 case, California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Fourth Amendment found that trash is a public property if it’s on the curb.
  • The largest majority of identity theft and fraud is tied back to information on paper. This could be anything from lost wallets to paper mail or anything taken from the garbage. Statistics show that paper records are involved in 1 in 5 data breaches.
  • There is a 1 In 33 chance you’ll have your identity stolen in the next 12 months.
  • 45% of every document created in the average office is thrown away on the same day.
  • The average employee uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year.
  • The average American uses 700 pounds of paper every year.
  • Recycling one ton of shredded paper saves: 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 84 gallons of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power the average American home for 6 months
  • The average business keeps records longer than necessary “just in case”. Businesses are required by law to maintain certain records. Files are required to be kept for many reasons and different lengths of time. However, there is a risk with keeping records past their retention requirements. All maintained records can be used against a company in legal actions. Therefore, every business should have a document retention policy in place that includes shredding documents when they have reached their retention requirements.
  • Using a professional paper shredding service does have a cost. However, using an in-house shredding machine in your office has high costs that far exceed the cost of a professional document destruction service.
  • Professional Shredding services use powerful high-security paper shredders that tear documents down to such a small size, it actually makes the recycling process easier and faster. As such, shredding paper has a positive environmental impact that helps businesses meet sustainability goals across all industries and in the government.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Established in 1995, this law requires that healthcare industry professionals responsibly shred discarded patient information.
  • The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) of 2003 was enacted to help reduce the risk of identity theft by requiring responsible shredding of discarded consumer information.
  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) Enacted in 1999, this law requires banking and financial institutions to protect the privacy of consumer data even when being disposed of.

We hope that you find these facts about document shredding interesting and helps you to consider calling FileShred to destroy your confidential papers when necessary. If you call FileShred today you can get a quote and on-site shredding appointment immediately.