There are two main types of shredding services - on-site (or mobile) shredding and off-site shredding. In this guide we will:

Since mobile and on-site shredding are the same thing we will use the terms interchangeably in this guide.

What is on-site shredding?

With on-site (or mobile shredding), a specialist truck containing an industrial shredder will park at your business premises. A service operative will collect your confidential documents and destroy them in the shredder, before taking the shredded paper away for recycling.

What is mobile shredding?

Mobile shredding is the same as on-site shredding. The terms are used interchangeably but the service is the same.

Mobile shredding services usually provide you with secure containers so you can safely collect and store documents for shredding later.

This service is ideal if you're looking for confidential on-site paper shredding, as you can watch the documents being shredded if you wish. On-site shredding is considered the most secure option, and best for companies that handle a lot of confidential paper and sensitive data.

What are the advantages of on-site shredding?

Peace of mind

Less handling

Quick service

Very secure

See your confidential waste destroyed before it's taken off-premises. You can watch the entire process if you want.

A trained, security-screened service operative will shred your documents, rather than lots of people handling them off-site.

Specialist mobile shredding trucks can destroy huge amounts of paper on-site (our van can shred around three tonnes of paper per hour).

On-site shredding involves less risk than off-site and so is more secure. If you have a client-facing service, you can let your customers know you use on-site shredding and make your service more trustworthy. They know their data is safe with you.

What makes on-site shredding so secure?

It's secure because:

  • fewer people handle the documents, meaning less risk
  • no transportation is involved so there's no risk of documents being intercepted
  • you can see the documents being shredded yourself if you want
  • high-quality on-site shredding companies have:
    • security screened operatives - look out for:
      • BS7858 security-screening (all our operatives are screened in this way)
      • DBS checks
      • ID presented on arrival
    • the necessary ISO accreditations - look out for:
      • ISO 9001
      • ISO 14001
      • OHSAS 18001
      • ISO 27001

BS7858 is a government British Standard that ensures any staff working in secure or sensitive environments can be trusted. This is the Government's description of the standard, which you can also view here:

BS7858 - Security screening of individuals employed in a security environment. Code of Practice

This British Standard helps employers to screen security personnel before they employ them. It gives best-practice recommendations, sets the standard for the security screening of staff in an environment where the safety of people, goods or property is essential. This includes data security, sensitive and service contracts and confidential records. It can also be applied to situations where security screening is in the public's interest.

It sets out all the necessary requirements to conduct a security screening process. It covers ancillary staff, acquisitions and transfers, and the security conditions of contractors and subcontractors. It also looks at information relating to the Rehabilitation of Offenders and Data Protection Acts.

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How much does mobile paper shredding cost?

Mobile shredding is more expensive than off-site shredding, but you're paying for what's considered a more secure service.

Ad hoc service: From £83 + VAT.

Ideal for one-off clear outs e.g. before an office move or end of year

How should I store my confidential waste prior to shredding?

There are two main options for storing documents before they are shredded:

  • Storage for ad-hoc collections includes:
    • security sacks and ties
    • lockable wheelie bins
    • secure skips
  • What you use depends on how much confidential waste you need to dispose of.
  • Storage for regular, scheduled collections includes lockable containers such as cabinets and wheelie bins, depending on your requirements.

Your chosen shredding company will be able to supply these to you.

On-site and off-site shredding key differences

On-site shredding services

Off-site shredding services

Generally more expensive than off-site shredding

A more cost-effective service when compared to on-site shredding

Secure on-site shredding takes place on your premises in mobile shredding trucks, where you can watch the documents being shredded

Documents are transported to a secure depot for shredding

Ideal for smaller, ad-hoc confidential paper shredding

Ideal for bulk shredding and large amounts of confidential waste

Documents are handled by fewer people

Involves more handling but is completely secure

You'll receive a certificate of destruction after your documents have been shredded

You'll receive a certificate of destruction by email after your documents have been shredded

If you're unsure whether you need mobile shredding for your business, read our why use a shredding service or contact the Russell Richardson team on 0800 294 6552.

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