Shredding Economics

Economic Study – The cost of in-house shredding compared to hiring a professional shredding service provider
Whenever companies ask us about shredding their own records we pull out this analysis and ask them to fill out cost estimates based on their own circumstances.
  •             Cost per square foot
  •             Cost of shredder and rated capacity in pounds per hour
  •             Cost of labor per hour including fringe benefits
  •             Cost of supervision
  •             Cost of plastic bag (for shredded paper)
  •             Cost of disposal – distance from trash container

  Then we describe what typically occurs:

  • Boxes for shredding mount up faster the shredder can shred because the need for shredding is lumpy – occurring with the accounting cycle or in line with some other unique cycle on their business
  • The shredder won’t come close to shredding its rated capacity.  It will get very hot when used.  It will shut down.  It will be difficult to feed.  It will break down when its most needed. There is no back-up shredder.
  • Operating the shredder quickly identifies the operator as the lowest level of worker in the company.  Soon they start to act like it.
  • Shredded paper explodes in volume after it passes through the shredder. There’s lots of paper dust.  The paper has to be stuffed into plastic sacks by hand.  The number of paper sacks soon takes over all available space or has to be taken to the trash area.
  • File boxes weigh 30 to 35 pounds each.  There will be lifting injuries.
  • Supervisors will be called in as the either boxes or bags filled with shredded paper spill into the hall way.  Some boxes may not be shredded and may be thrown into the trash to allleviate the backlog. If this practice is not question, more boxes will simply be thrown out.
  • Most employees will question the security of the information.
  • More people will become involved in shredding.  This will further erode security.

Almost everyone stops here and hires a professional shredding company.  No one, to our knowledge, has completed a financial analysis of all factors.