Office Shredder Facts

The Office Shredder May Put Your Organization At Risk

Be warned! Here are 5 Reasons why you should dump your office shredder and hire a shredding service:

  1. Office Shredders Produce Strips of Paper That Can Be ReassembledMost office shredding machines shred paper using a cross-cut or ribbon cut method. So when these strips of paper are discarded or recycled, “dumpster divers” just sort through the trash and reassemble these paper strips. This gives them easy access to the confidential information you thought was destroyed. In fact this form of information fraud is so common, now there’s software available to help these thieves scan and reassemble this information.American Security Shredding uses advanced shredding technology to produce a confetti-like output that is small and unreadable. And since there are hundreds of pounds of documents from numerous clients, all mixed together, our shredded material is impossible to reassemble.
  2. Office Shredders Can Cost Twice As Much As A Shredding ServiceSmall businesses that operate an office shredder spend, on average, 15 minutes of staff time each and every day, shredding confidential documents. When you consider the average hourly wage, plus benefits and factor in depreciation and maintenance costs on the shredder, it costs over $95 per month to operate an office shredder. That’s nearly twice as much as our regularly scheduled, on-site shredding pickup service. (For more details or to calculate the cost to operate your office shredder, check out our sample Cost Comparison.)
  3. Office Shredders Can Leave You Vulnerable In Audits And LawsuitsIrregular shredding practices. That’s the charge an auditor or lawyer can make when they discover your organization uses an office shredder. Why? Because in-house shredding programs don’t adhere to a regular shredding schedule and they don’t provide adequate documentation of what’s been shredded, when it’s been shredded or by whom. So when a question arises as to when and why a particular piece of information was shredded, organizations without documentation are susceptible to severe fines.American Security Shredding offers a variety of regularly scheduled shredding services and a Certificate of Destruction to provide documented evidence of every single shred.
  4. Office Shredders Are A Safety HazardIn the last five years, there have been more than 50 reports of injuries from office shredders, including lacerations and lost fingers. And while these cases are isolated, office shredders have sharp blades that can injure someone if they’re not careful. Additionally, office shredders produce paper, plastic and metal dust fragments that, left unchecked, can get into the air ducts and create a fire hazard.The on-site shredding service offered by American Security Shredding means you’ll never have to deal with sharp blades or dust fragments again.
  5. Office Shredders Make A Big MessEven though “shredder mess” is not a risk factor, it’s still something that you’ll have to deal with if you use an office shredder. Fragments of paper will fall onto the floor while dust builds up on the shredder, the shredder table, and the floor.American Security Shredding eliminates shredder mess caused by office shredders.

Calculate The Cost of Your Office Shredder

An Office Shredder Costs A Lot More Than You’d Think

To illustrate, let’s take a look at a typical small business office. As soon as information destruction laws went into effect they purchased a modestly priced personal shredder (Fellowes Power Shred SB-97C) for $185. The chart below shows how much it cost this small business to operate their office shredder.

Office Shredder Cost Analysis
Number of employees 5
* Shred time (minutes) per day for each employee 3
Total Daily Shred Time (Minutes) 15
Average hourly wage (including benefits) $16.19
Total daily shred time (Hours) 0.25
Number of work days per month 21.67
Number of hours per month employees shred 5.42
Total Monthly Labor Cost To Shred $87.71
Purchase price of Fellowes Power Shred SB-97C $185
Life expectancy of shredder (Number of months) 60
Monthly depreciation cost $3.08
Monthly maintenance cost $4.73
Total Monthly Equipment Cost $7.81
Total labor cost $87.71
Total equipment cost $7.81
Total Monthly Cost of Office Shredder $95.52
* Includes time to pick up paper, straighten pages, feed shredder, clean up and paper disposal

In our example, a typical small business office will spend $95.52 a month. There are five employees that use the office shredder during the course of a day, each averaging about three minutes of daily shred time or 15 minutes total per day for the entire office.

(Remember shred time is not just the amount of time the shredding machine manufacturer claims it takes to shred paper. One must also include the time to sort the documents, walk from the work area to the shredder, pick up and straighten the paper, feed the paper into the shredder and clean up any paper residue and when necessary, dispose of the shredded paper.)

Since the average hourly wage of their employees, plus benefits is $16.19. The total monthly labor cost to operate an office shredder is $87.71. Factor in depreciation and maintenance costs (shredding blades must be sharpened) the total cost of operating their office shredder is $95.52 per month.

Now your costs will be different based upon how much you shred, your average hourly wage, the initial cost of the shredder, etc. But the fact is that using an office shredder costs twice as much as a monthly pickup by a shredding service… and saving money isn’t even the best reason to use a shredding service.