How Do You Find Free Shredding Events Near You?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Sep 18, 2020 12:46:46 AM ET
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Sensitive documents can pile up quickly, especially if you’re a business owner or self-employed. However, what to actually do with all of these papers isn’t always obvious. Ensuring confidential information doesn’t get into the wrong hands is obviously important, but not everyone has the luxury of a shredder at home, and going out to buy your own shredder might not make sense if you only periodically need one.

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In many communities, people get around this dilemma with free shredding events. Residents are invited to come out and either shred documents themselves or turn them over to trusted charities for destruction. Finding one doesn’t have to be a hassle, either.

Why Shred Documents?

While it can be tempting to just toss documents in the trash, it’s not the wisest course of action in the long run. Identity thieves recognize that many people can’t be bothered to properly dispose of their papers and have been known to look through trash for potentially useful information, like social security and bank account numbers. Shredding documents makes obtaining confidential information that much harder, and what’s more, it can even be required by law to protect client or patient confidentiality under some circumstances.

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Shredding also has some less direct benefits. It can free up extra space and make for a more orderly workspace, while the shredded paper can be conveniently and efficiently recycled, with the strips taking up less space than full sheets. And don’t forget the feeling of strange satisfaction many people get from shredding paper.

What Is a Shredding Event?

While some paper shredding events might be specific to a particular organization, they’re usually a free and open way for anyone to safely dispose of old documents. Local governments, businesses and even charities sometimes sponsor shredding events, although banks and even office supply stores have also been known to hold them, usually as part of a promotional effort to win over more customers or members. The events are held in community centers, school gymnasiums, libraries, lobbies and other public spaces that are easily accessed by the public. Such events often last for several hours for people with different work schedules to be able to make use of them.

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Sometimes, an organization makes its own paper shredders available to the public. However, they may also rent machines from a third party that can handle much larger shredders than you’re likely to see in a typical environment, ensuring everyone can shred their documents in a timely manner.

Finding and Attending Free Shredding Events

If you’re looking for a free shredding event near you, you’re not alone. Multiple websites exist for the sole purpose of finding such events, including Shred Nations, Shred-it and many more. These websites often have search functions that let you enter your city or zip code to find events in your area. You can also check for such events with your local bank, library, school, university or office supplies store, either in person or online Community bulletin boards also sometimes promote shredding events.

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Shredding events are inexpensive and convenient, but it's important to proceed cautiously before you hand over your documents. Ideally, you want to be able to witness your documents get shredded personally so that you know they’ve definitely been destroyed. In some cases, shredding events may use cameras to let you virtually witness the shredding.

You should also research the organization doing the shredding, whether it’s done by the organization hosting the event or a third party. If the process involves turning over your intact documents to have a company shred them off-site, you may want to rethink using it.

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Find Free Community Shredding Events

You can find a shredding event near you by visiting shredit.com or other shredding services. These websites have search functions for you to enter your city or zip code to find events scheduled in your area. If shredding events are planned near you, you'll get information about the date, time and location. If no events are scheduled near you, you'll be asked to check back later.