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Look for Local “Free Shred Days” to Safely Dispose of Sensitive Documents

A box of finely shredded paper.
Marijus Auruskevicius/Shutterstock

When you don’t have a paper shredder at home (or you just have an overwhelming pile to deal with), there are still options for disposing of sensitive documents. There’s a good chance that some organization near you hosts what’s known as a shred day.

Sure having a paper shredder at home is great—assuming you buy a good one. But even with a good one, you have to maintain it, replace parts eventually, and otherwise fuss with it. If you routinely need to shred things, that might be worth it. But if you’re not dealing with sensitive client records and can just toss everything you need to shred in a copy box and let it pile up at a later date, there’s a great alternative to taking up space in your home office with a shredder: shred days.

Instead of investing in a paper shredder or paying to have it done at stores like Staples, you could wait for a local organization to host a shred day where they bring in trucks to shred up personal documents in bulk.

Who Hosts Free Shred Days?

There are a lot of different businesses that host free shred days. Check with your local bank or credit union to find out if they offer a free shred day. Financial institutions are, by far, one of the most frequent places you’ll find one of these events.

Nonprofits and even the Better Business Bureau will sometimes host free shred days at local churches or other locations. This type of information is usually shared in a local newspaper, or you can do an online search for “free paper shred days” in your area. Do check to see if there is any fine print for the event—most free shred days have footnote along the lines of “three boxes per family” or some such thing, where a “box” is typically a standard size copy paper box.

One other outlet worth checking out when it comes to finding places that you can shred your paper for free is in hospitals. Some hospitals host free shredding days, where you go into the lobby and shred your documents and go about your day.

Places that host free shredding days may only do it once a year or a few times a year, but if numerous sites in your area offer this type of service, you can save up your documents and pop in when the shred day aligns with your schedule.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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