We all know that document destruction is a crucial consideration for businesses large and small. It protects sensitive information, and helps ensure that the personal and financial data of your customers doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. However, there are some unusual facts about paper shredding that might just surprise you.
1. Document Destruction Is Green
It might come as a shock to you to learn that not only does destroying your files offer important safety, but it’s actually a green process that helps alleviate the need for raw materials. For instance, paper towels are comprised mostly of previously shredded material.
2. It Helps Growing Things
Paper shredding doesn’t have to lead to the landfill. Waste files that has been put through a professional shredder actually makes very good compost for gardens.
3. Saves Landfill Space
Shredding helps reduce the amount of space used in landfills – a single ton sent through a recycling facility saves almost three and a half cubic yards of space in the local landfill.
4. Old Technology
You might think that shredders are relatively new, but the first one was invented in 1909 by Augustus Lowe, who passed away before it was completed. The next one to be invented, and the one on which today’s technology is based, was developed in pre-WWII Germany and helped save the inventor’s life by destroying anti-Nazi propaganda.
5. Cross Cutting Is Better
Iranian revolutionaries accidentally gave birth to cross-cut document destruction in 1979 when they seized garbage from the US embassy and put shredded strips back together to reveal sensitive information. Since then, cross-cutting has been the way to go.
6. Particle Cutters Reduce Paper to Mere Millimeters
While cross-cutting is widespread, some documents are sensitive enough to require particle cutters, which can cut pieces down to as small as 3 millimeters.
7. Personal Document Destruction Matters Too
In 1984, the US decided that trash was public property, which inadvertently gave rise to the need for personal file destruction.
8. Watergate Relied on Document Destruction
The Watergate scandal could not have happened without shredding technology – Nixon’s team tried to destroy vast numbers of documents to hide the attempted burglary.
9. The Most Recycled Material
Paper is the single most recycled material, far more than glass, aluminum, and plastic all put together.
10. Onsite Destruction Offers Better Security
While offsite destruction services exist, onsite destruction (accompanied by a certificate of destruction) is actually much more secure.
There you have them – 10 interesting facts that you likely didn’t know.