Professional shredding services ensure data on paper documents and electronic devices such as hard drives is disposed of securely. Data breaches can put a company at risk of violating the general data protection regulation (GDPR), which can result in a fine of up to £17.5m or 4% of the company’s global turnover.
For individuals, not disposing of confidential waste correctly could result in identity theft or financial loss if someone gains access to their financial details.
On this page you can read an overview of the different professional shredding services available and their benefits.
Business shredding services
Confidential waste disposal
Confidential waste refers to any waste that can be used to identify individuals. This can include paperwork, such as payslips or CVs, or electronic items containing personal data, such as hard drives.
Confidential waste can be generated or used by:
- Individuals—for example, personal paperwork like payslips, utility bills and old passports all contain confidential information.
- The company you work for or run—your employer will have your address, CV, National Insurance number and many more of your personal details. If you run your own business then you’re likely to have the personal details of your customers and suppliers on record. Even if you run a business from home, you’ll need to treat these documents as confidential and dispose of them properly. You can find out more about shredding services for home businesses here.
- The companies you use—for example, if you:
- use a solicitor to help buy a house or a financial advisor to assess your finances
- buy a product from a company online
- sign up for a mobile phone contract
- open a bank account
these companies will have a record of your personal data.
You must store confidential waste in a secure container in your office and dispose of it correctly. By doing this, you:
- prevent security breaches
- comply with your legal obligations
- give your customers, employees and suppliers peace of mind that you’re treating their data in the proper way
Not treating confidential waste correctly could mean you’re in breach of GDPR. Find out more by reading our Guide to regulations.
Although disposing of confidential waste yourself might seem like a good option, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t risk doing this. You can find out more in our guide 5 reasons you shouldn’t shred documents yourself.
Confidential waste management services shred paper documents and electronic waste into tiny pieces, so it can’t be reconstructed and used against you.
You can read more about confidential waste disposal services—including your legal obligations, your options for secure confidential waste storage and the different shredding services available—in our guide What is confidential waste and how can I ensure my business disposes of it securely?
Business document shredding
Professional paper shredding companies can destroy your business documents so thoroughly that they can’t be recovered. This will give you, your customers, your employees and your suppliers peace of mind that their personal data is safe.
How to choose the right shredding service for your company
The first step is to decide which kind of paper shredding service is best for your business. The two main options are:
- a one-off service
- a regular service
Once you’ve decided that, you’ll need to choose between:
- on-site mobile shredding
- off-site document shredding
To help you make the best decision for your business, we’ve put together a guide—How to decide what kind of document shredding service you need.
If you’re not sure whether mobile shredding is necessary for your business, read our dedicated guide On-site and mobile shredding: what is it and how much does it cost?
Business document shredding costs
For many businesses, cost can be the deciding factor in their choice of shredding company. At Russell Richardson, we’re upfront about our costs so you can choose which secure document destruction service is right for you.
The following guide includes our prices and tells you why you’re unlikely to find a document shredding service free of charge—read How much document shredding services cost to find out more.
Our guide Cost considerations for shredding services will give you further advice on what costs you need to consider when choosing a secure shredding service.
Recycling shredded documents
Many businesses make sustainability a top priority of their environmental policy. Using a document shredding service can ensure your confidential waste is shredded and recycled correctly.
If you’re interested in how we recycle our paper and what we recycle it into, read our guide What do shredding companies do with the paper?
For more general information on recycling, read our Paper recycling FAQs.
Business hard drive destruction, hard disk destruction and electronic waste recycling
If you store personal data on electronic devices, you’ll need to dispose of these correctly once you’re no longer using them.
For everything you need to know about disposing of electronic devices, read our guide Hard drive destruction services: what they do and how they protect your data.
If you want to find out more about what electric or electronic items you should destroy, read our Frequently asked questions on business WEEE and IT recycling.
Uniform and textile shredding for businesses
Work uniforms and branded textiles can identify members of staff, or enable a criminal to gain unauthorised access to company premises. Destroying uniforms can help prevent someone impersonating or being mistaken for a member of the services, a crime which could have extremely serious consequences.
Take the worry out of what to do with unwanted uniforms and textiles by ensuring they’re destroyed correctly. Read our guide Uniform destruction and shredding: how it works, the benefits and costs to find out more.
Home and domestic shredding services
It’s not just businesses that produce confidential waste and need to invest in document destruction. People who run a business from home rely on paper shredding services to dispose of their documents securely.
Domestic shredding services are ideal if you need a contract-free, one-off paper shredding service—for example, if you’re:
- moving house
- de-cluttering your home
If you run a business from home, you can also use domestic paper shredding services and have your documents collected on a regular basis.
You’ll usually be charged a set price for each bag of paper you need shredding. Costs vary whether you:
- want the documents shredded on your premises in a specialist shredding van (also known as mobile shredding)
- are happy for the documents to be shredded off-site
You can find out how much Russell Richardson charges for domestic shredding here.
If you’re not sure which service is right for your business, our guide How to decide what kind of document shredding service you need tells you about the different paper shredding services available.
We’ve created an in-depth guide to what people running a business from home need to do with their confidential waste—Domestic paper shredding services—how it works, the benefits and costs.
Domestic hard drive destruction, hard disk destruction and electronic waste recycling
Domestic or home shredding services also deal with electronic items that contain personal information, such as laptops and hard drives.
If you have confidential information on these devices, leaving them for roadside collection or dropping them off at a household waste recycling centre means you could be risking having your data stolen.
The only way to ensure the data on your electronic devices is destroyed securely is to ensure it’s properly shredded by a professional shredding company.
Read more in our guide Hard drive destruction services: what they do and how they protect your data or read our Frequently Asked Questions on Business WEEE and IT Recycling.