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  • Writer's pictureAMERICAN SHREDDING

Do's and Don’ts of Getting Rid of Unwanted Uniforms, ID Badges, and More

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Allowing these items to freely enter the world outside your company can present significant security breaches to your company.


Here are a few simple do’s and don’ts when it comes time to get rid of company branded items.

DON’T: Let a Fired Employee Keep Anything

When an employee is fired, it is important that they no longer have access to any items that constitutes your uniform or ways of identifying themselves as an employee. This includes ID badges, uniforms, hats, lapel pins, shoes, business cards, or anything else that can be used to gain entry, impersonate a current employee, or be worn to misrepresent your company.

DON’T: Donate to Charity

Globally, 80% of discarded textiles are doomed for the landfill or incineration. Only 20% are actually reused or recycled. Right now, less than 1% of collected clothing is recycled into new yarns and fibers. And most clothing is shipped to third world countries.

Unscrupulous people will find even the kindest of gestures and turn it into something they can use for ill gains. Donating to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any other charitable organization is a great idea…..just not for branded uniforms. Uniforms from security guards, delivery services, first responders and more can be used to impersonate someone who either has authority or would not raise suspicions if entering a neighborhood or commercial property. Also, they can use uniforms to impersonate a current employee and not cause alarm while wandering in your office! There are so many more ways for corporations to give to charities so there’s no reason to feel badly about skipping this donation.

DON’T: Use Your Trash Pickup as a Destruction Service

Did you know that clothing that ends up in landfills can sit there for 200-plus years, and as it decomposes, it emits methane—a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon? Also, unfortunately, most recycling centers can’t handle the amount of donations and often will sell pallets of textiles to vendors who ship them overseas where you will have no control of who buys it, who wears it or where it ends up.

DO: Your Part in Promoting Recycling

Next time you need to place an order for office supplies and uniforms, look for vendors who use recycled materials. Clothing now can contain recycled fibers and business cards can be printed on cardstock made from recycled paper. Plus, it’s such an easy win-win. You help save the planet making you and your employees heroes and it’s great PR for your company.

Also, be sure to ask about their green standards. How much do they recycle materials? Is it a core value of the company? There are accreditations such as LEED, WasteWise, Green Business Bureau (GBB) and more that can be earned by companies who focus on running a green company. Find out if they have any.

DO: Hire a Professional Product Destruction Service

Look for a product destruction company who specializes in textile destruction as well as paper shredding. They will have industrial equipment that ensures your garments are securely and permanently destroyed and your paper is cross-hatch shredded so no one could put it back together again!

In addition, when you hire a professional product destruction company, you will have peace of mind that your company brand is safe. Also, you’ll receive proof that your inventory is completely destroyed with a Certificate of Destruction (COD). Still worried they might not be properly destroyed? How about being able to watch the actual destruction as it is being done? Reputable companies will offer all this and more.

Keep in mind these simple do's and don'ts and your company and its brand will remain safe when disposing of your branded items.

Ready to work with a company who offers product destruction of uniforms and more? Contact us today to get started!


American Shredding offers shredding and recycling services to help you protect your product brand and do your part to protect the planet. We can shred on-site at your location or off-site at our secure plant.

Contact us for fast scheduling, friendly staff, 100% recycling and low prices. We offer services in Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Utah, and Washington states. See our list of cities here.

Need help with a recycling plan? Get a quote today!

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