Despite claims that we are moving towards a paperless environment, the most common material found in solid waste around the globe is paper. In fact, statistics show that as much as 10,000 sheets of paper are generated by the average American office work every year. That means that about two pounds of paper is generated by office works in the United States every single day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This isa na astonishing amount given that for every half a box of paper one 15-year old tree is used. While cutting down on paper use is the ideal, this is not always possible, particularly in certain industries. In addition there is a need to get rid of paper documents once they have outlived their usefulness.
On-site document shredding services offer the ideal solution for companies and organizations that need to safely and securely dispose of documents that cannot be simply thrown away. Many such companies also offer document scanning solutions and double as a document storage company. In certain sectors such as the medical industry — health insurance companies and doctors’ surgeries — it is a legal requirement for shred documents when they are to be disposed of. This is because of the sensitive nature of the patient and client information, which requires comprehensive data-destruction plans to be in place as per state and federal laws. In such instances document shredding services can be invaluable, especially given the volume of data to be destroyed.
Although many businesses claim to operate paperless environments, estimates place the percentage of business information still stored in paper form at over 95%. Using secure shredding services not only ensures the safety of the client information, but can also have positive environmental impact. As much as 80% of all paper mills in the United States can use the paper collected in recycling and shredding programs in their mills, according to the EPA. Recycling reduces water pollution by 35% and air pollution by 74% in comparison to making virgin paper, according to the EPA. Given that more than 80 million tons of paper is consumed in the United States every year, this can make a significant difference. It can also have other benefits such as saving valuable office space and reducing the risk of fire.