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  • Writer's pictureAMERICAN SHREDDING

Using a Landfill, Recycling Program, or Junk Hauler for your Destruction Needs is Asking for Trouble

You might be a small company or be located in a rural setting where your options are somewhat limited. Maybe you don’t budget for product or paper destruction or think using an in-office shredder is good enough. You might not think twice when it comes to breaking up and delivering to an e-waste drop off old hard drives, floppy disks, CDs, and laptops.

After all, what could go wrong? And aren’t you doing your part to help the planet?

Answers…. a lot and are you sure?

Losing Track of Your Trash

Ever been to a landfill? Many people spend their days taking furniture and other products straight from the main drop off dumpsters. According to the Supreme Court, it is not illegal to “pull trash”. Cars with their trunks open line the parking lot.

Many companies are zoned in both commercial and residential zones. Your garbage influences decisions made by haulers and landfill companies about timing, equipment, and all the logistics. Your trash could be sitting on the street for hours. Once it leaves your location, you no longer know where or when it will be destroyed. Also, there is no HIPPA or any other policies that city haulers are required to follow.

Identity Theft

Do you have boxes and boxes of old applications or records that contain personal information? Get them into those recycling bins and be done with it, right? No! A recycling center does not require the complete destruction of paper or products. Also, identity thieves keep a lookout for paper recycling bins especially outside of businesses to be able to steal someone’s identity.

Losing Brand Trust

Does your company make products for consumers? Did you have an item that didn’t sell well due to a defect, or it just wasn’t up to your standards? Can’t you just throw them out or recycle them? What happens when someone picks up those items and starts to sell them online in what is referred to as a “grey market”. They could also sell them in swap meets or to discounted department stores. An unknowing consumer purchases the item and because we live in a world of reviews…there goes your reputation.

Electronic Piracy

Throwing out a PC, laptop, tablet, or phone with the trash can result in the loss of personal information that the bad guys are only happy to use to steal your identity and those of your customers.

You could delete your customers’ files and even reformat your hard drive before tossing electronics into the recycling bin. However, that does not necessarily result in the permanent and irreversible destruction of data. Most often, the Delete command simply tells your device “this information is no longer needed, feel free to use the space over again when necessary.”

If you watch enough true crime shows, you know that nothing is ever really deleted! With a simple search online, anyone can find up to 20 FREE data recovery tools to reconstruct those deleted files. For less than $50, professional software does an even better job. Similar tools exist for drives that have been reformatted.

So, what about hitting the drive with a hammer or drilling a hole through it? You certainly made it more expensive to recover the information on your old computer, but if the bad guys suspect your device was used to store credit card information, a few thousand dollars in recovery costs might be worth 10X or 100X the expense.

Protect yourself. Protect your customers. Protect your company.

Just like in your personal life, you take measures to protect yourself against identity theft. Your customers deserve the same. Find the nearest certified destruction company and give them a call. Find out how you can follow your trash and know exactly who has it and that it is properly disposed of. Many offer scheduled pickups or same day service.


American Shredding offers recycling services to help you protect your product brand and do your part to protect the planet. We use a combination of machine and manual processes to disassemble, break down, shred, or crush the products. They are then reused, recycled, or disposed of in a safe, secure, and environmentally friendly manner. 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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