DIY Shredding vs. Professional Document Destruction

Shredding confidential business documents is important for the security and protection of both your company information and your customers’ information. You can either buy an office shredder and self-manage the shredding process or outsource it to a qualified partner. In this blog we discuss the major differences between DIY shredding and professional document destruction. 


One of the biggest things overlooked with DIY shredding is security. Naturally, you trust your employees to destroy documents securely and promptly. With insider privacy breaches on the rise, however, you must be extra careful if you choose this option. One compromised document can send your entire organization into a damaging tailspin.

When you choose a professional document destruction company, you get screened security professionals who are trained to keep confidential information secure. They follow strict chain of custody procedures throughout the entire destruction process. Plus, your company’s shredded documents are mixed with tons of shredded paper from other businesses to protect your information from identification or reconstruction. 


At first glance, DIY shredding seems quick and easy, but office shredders are dreadfully slow. For example, purging four boxes of outdated legal records with an office shredder can take several hours. Before shredding even begins, staples, paper clips and sticky notes must be removed from your documents. Then, since most shredders can only handle a few sheets of paper at a time, each file has to be separated into easily shredded portions. Next, when the shredding receptacle fills, it must be emptied. This doesn’t even factor in the occasional paper jam which tacks on even more minutes to an already time consuming process.

Professional document destruction is much more efficient. Documents and files can be quickly dumped into a secure collection container provided by your destruction partner and destroyed onsite at your business in just a few minutes. 


Let’s say you have an employee who spends twenty minutes a day or seven hours a month shredding documents. If you multiply that number by your labor rate, you’ll get an initial idea of what your DIY shredding costs are. But that doesn’t account for the price of your office shredder or other employee related expenses, which increase your costs even more. When you outsource your shredding, you eliminate the need to pay your employees to shred documents. Instead, you free them up to focus on revenue generating tasks.

When you do the math, professional document destruction is more cost effective than DIY shredding.

Hundreds of pounds of paper can be shredded in a fraction of the time it takes to destroy documents in-house. Besides eliminating the cost of buying, operating and repairing an office shredder, on-site document destruction saves valuable employee time that can be focused on revenue generation rather than standing over a shredder. 


Anyone can shred a document with an office paper shredder, but with DIY shredding there’s no record or proof of destruction or disposal. 

Professional document destruction offers 100% verification of the document disposal process. Since sensitive information never leaves your premises, you can watch as your documents are collected by a background-screened and bonded shredding technician and taken to a mobile shredding vehicle for destruction. During the shredding process, a closed-circuit monitor lets you witness the destruction of your documents in real time. 


Without a verifiable document destruction process, your company isn’t compliant with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The law establishes rules for how organizations collect, use and disclose personal information during business activities. Failure to comply with PIPEDA may result in criminal prosecution and/or fines of up to $100,000. Unfortunately, DIY destruction doesn’t offer proof of PIPEDA compliance. On the other hand, with professional document destruction you are given a Certificate of Destruction each time your documents are shredded.

As you can see, a professional document destruction vendor offers several advantages over DIY shredding, including lower costs, enhanced efficiency, better compliance and peace of mind.

Shred Guard provides NAID AAA Certified shredding and destruction services for businesses throughout Atlantic Canada. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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