Last updated on March 9th, 2019 at 03:20 pm
Are there huge stacks of papers lying in the storeroom of your office? Why don’t you dispose them off? Do they contain confidential information and you are afraid it might fall in wrong hands?
If you can relate to the situation, the only thing you need is to take help from a reliable paper shredding service.
What Is A Paper Shredding Service?
As evident from the name, a paper shredding service provider is responsible to destroy all your sensitive documents to eliminate the prospect of anyone misusing the information those documents contain.
It is a part of the ‘document management’ process. The importance of paper shredding can be estimated from the fact that certain industries, such as legal, financial, medical, and government organizations, are legally bound to make paper shredding a regular practice.
However, when you are on the lookout for a paper shredding company, make sure you choose a reliable one. For this, check if the company is certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).
A NAID certified company follows all the rules and safety procedures put forward by the government and also provides its clients with a ‘certificate of destruction that clients use as a proof that they followed the right method of document destruction’.
Rather than searching for a good paper shredding service and then ensuring whether it is certified or not, the best and easiest way for employers is to go for a national paper shredding service.
Best National Paper Shredding Service: Iron Mountain vs. Shred-It vs. ProShred
Iron Mountain, Shred-It and ProShred are the top national paper shredding services that specialize in providing heavy duty shredding services. They offer both, on-site and off-site shredding services.
To help you choose the best service out of these and one which suits your needs, we are presenting a detailed analysis of each to see which one offers the best services.
An Overview Of Rates Of Major National Paper Shredding Companies
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Iron Mountain – The Best Paper Shredding Service
Out of all the 3 services discussed in this article, we have given Iron Mountain the title for being the best one based on customer reviews and personally trying their service.
Although it does not offer a ‘drop-off at store’ facility, it offers the best overall packages for both, on-site and off-site shredding.
Well, who wants to take up an additional burden of dropping the papers at the company’s office when you can have the service provider do everything in such amazing prices?
Also, Iron Mountain respects its clients’ needs to maintain the security of documents and offers the safest paper shredding service there is. When you hire Iron Mountain, you know that your sensitive documents are in safe hands.
Another amazing feature of this company is that it even has a safe process for destroying and disposing DVDs, CDs, hard drives and other such devices that are commonly used to store information.
Let’s look at some of the major features of Iron Mountain individually:
- Certification – Iron Mountain is certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). This means that it operates in compliance with the laws regarding information protection and document management.
- Security – It takes every measure to provide the utmost level of security to its clients. The company provides locked consoles in your offices for document collection. For shredding, it uses the cross cutting technique; the industry-standard and most secure one there is. As an additional protection measure, Iron Mountain recycles the shredded paper.
- Numerous Locations – Although we are not certain, Iron Mountain probably has the biggest infrastructure out of all paper shredding companies. More than 1000 facilities of Iron Mountain are present in about 35 countries. Also, it has around 3500 vehicles and 10 data centers spanning across multiple destinations.
- On-Site And Off-Site Document Disposal – Iron Mountain offers both, on-site and off-site document destruction facilities.
- Variety Of Packages – To cater to a large number of clients having varying needs, Iron Mountain offers both, monthly packages and a one-time service, for paper shredding.
- Affordable Rates – For monthly and bi-monthly off-site paper shredding (according to the clients’ needs), Iron Mountain charges $65 for 2 bins and $16 for every additional bin. For on-site shredding, the charges for a standard copy-size box are $10 (minimum total amount for on-site shredding needs to be $300).
- Document Imaging – With a document imaging facility, Iron Mountain makes copies of your sensitive documents if you need to keep a record. Also, for storing your data, both for a specific or indefinite time period, Iron Mountain has many safe locations too. So, you don’t have to worry about keeping your sensitive records safe as they will do it for you. The staff responsible for carrying out the task is well-trained to maintain confidentiality of the information.
- A+ Rating – Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given a strong A+ rating to Iron Mountain which speaks volumes about the company’s performance and quality of its services.
ProShred – The Best On-Spot Paper Shredding Service
Compared to Iron Mountain, ProShred has a much smaller network, with only 27 facilities throughout the United States.
To make up for its selective presence restricted to only a few parts in the US and other countries, ProShred has partnered with many local paper shredding companies that are certified.
While this is definitely helpful for its customers, it sometimes creates confusion and makes follow-ups a bit harder because ProShred transfers your tasks and information to its partners.
To ensure that clients’ sensitive documents do not fall into the wrong hands due to having many partners, ProShred does not offer an off-site paper shredding service.
With on-site shredding, the clients remain satisfied that whichever partner of ProShred has been assigned their task, the secrecy of their data is not compromised.
Some of the best features of ProShred include:
- Best Rates For On-site Paper Shredding – Out of all the major paper shredding companies, ProShred offers the best rates for on-site shredding. Also, they do not have any minimum amount condition. Starting from $85 per bin for a one time shredding service, the company’s rates go as low as $45 per bin in case one chooses the monthly, bi-monthly or other packages for regular shredding (according to your needs). For each additional bin in any package, ProShred charges $40 extra.
- The Smaller The Better – While many people see the smaller network of ProShred as a disadvantage, many see it as a guarantee for receiving much better services. While this is no rule, a general perception is that a smaller network means the company is likely to have a lesser number of clients than bigger companies. As a result, a lesser number of clients translates to the staff focusing more on the quality of work and customer satisfaction.
- Offers Drop-off Facility – ProShred offers a ‘drop-off at store’ facility as well. This means that a business itself sends its documents that need to be destroyed to any of the company’s partner offices. Many businesses take up this option because it is much cheaper than other paper shredding options. ProShred offers paper shredding service for ‘drop-off’ documents at $20 if your papers weigh less than 25 pounds, and $30 if the documents weigh between 26-50 pounds.
- Locked Consoles – To ensure the security of sensitive documents, ProShred provides locked consoles to its clients. So, you don’t need to be concerned about your confidential information falling into the wrong hands, no matter how long the bins remain in their office(s). Once the papers goes into the console, it can only be taken out by the ProShred staff.
- Tracking Facility – This is an additional security measure provided to those who opt for the locked consoles facility. Each locked console has an identification serial number that can be used to track your sensitive documents once they are taken from your office.
- Recycling – Taking the security of your customers’ data seriously, ProShred has not left any stone unturned. After shredding, the company recycles the papers for complete destruction of your information and also for environmental protection.
- Offers Electronic Device’s Destruction Facility – ProShred’s services are not only limited to paper shredding. To cater to its clients’ diverse needs, the company also offers destruction services for hard drives and other electronic media. Depending on your needs, it can also make digital copies of your documents before they are destroyed.
Shred-It – Lowest Drop-Off Rates
With more than 170 paper shredding locations in different countries, Shred-It has also maintained its presence all over the world.
Out of all the 3 paper shredding companies that are under review here, Shred-It is the only one that offers all 3 types of paper shredding services, i.e. on-site, off-site and the drop-off facility.
Despite having the widest range of services, Shred-It ranks lower than Iron Mountain for its off-site shredding service and lower than ProShred in it on-site shredding service.
However, when it comes to its drop-off service, Shred-It offers the best package out of all the paper shredding companies.
Let’s break down the paper shredding service offered by Shred-It.
- NAID Certified – Shred-It is certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). This means that the company follows all the rules and regulations put forward by the regulatory authorities. Also, Shred-It ensures the security of its clients’ sensitive information. Like all NAID-certified paper shredding companies, Shred-It provides a destruction certificate and a list of the names of people who will deal with your documents during all the stages of the paper shredding process. All these steps are taken in accordance with NAID guidelines to ensure customer satisfaction and to establish the reliability of the company itself.
- Lowest Drop-off Rates – Although Shred-It falls behind Iron Mountain and ProShred in terms of its off-site and on-site paper shredding service, it offers the lowest rates for its drop-off facility. If you choose to drop off your documents at any of the company’s facilities, you will only be charged $10 per box (What else do you need?)
- Smallest Shred Size – According to the company’s customer service representatives, all the documents at Shred-It are shredded to the smallest possible size to ensure the safety of clients’ sensitive information. The size of the smallest shred is 5/8th of an inch. This is in consistence with the policies and guidelines put forward by the regulating authorities for organizations that are bound by law to adopt paper shredding practices, such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Customized Services – Shred-It is one of those few paper shredding companies that create a shredding policy according to your business and its unique needs. As you sign up for its services, Shred-It sends its representative to your office(s) to determine your shredding needs, the size of console(s) you need and what is the best place in your office to put that console. The representative also estimates how often you would need to avail the shredding service. To meet the varying needs of different businesses, Shred-It has many different sizes of consoles, the largest being able to hold up to 82 gallons of paper. It can also provide even larger consoles for huge businesses if required.
- A+ Rating – Like Iron Mountain, Shred-It has also received an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Why A Business Needs To Adopt a Paper Shredding Practice?
In addition to the fact that certain industries, specifically those whose entire operations are based on dealing with private information of people or any other type of sensitive data.
Are bound by the law to include paper shredding in their regular practices, there are several other reasons to go for paper shredding. Following are some of the major reasons to shred your documents:
· It Helps Protecting The Environment
Many major paper shredding companies not only shred your documents to protect your sensitive data, but also protect the environment by recycling that shredded paper. In North America, Iron Mountain is the biggest supplier of shredded recycled paper.
Recycling, as we all know, helps in conserving energy, reduces pollution, decreases the usage of landfills and also saves a large number of trees that would otherwise be cut to produce new paper.
By recycling the shredded paper, Iron Mountain helped save 7 million trees and 2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2012 alone.
· It Increases Your Reliability
One of the major reasons why many customers are reluctant to provide their personal or sensitive information to any business is because they fear it will not remain confidential.
They do not trust the extent to which the company they are dealing with maintains secrecy of its clients’ information and the security measures in place to prevent information theft.
Also, they have a fear that their personal data might end up in the wrong hands and could be misused.
By including paper shredding in its policies, a company gains the trust of its customers.
· It Can Actually Save You Money
Contrary to popular belief, paper shredding can actually save you a lot of money. The costs of measures a business takes to manage information is way higher than the cost of paper shredding.
Do the math if you have doubts and you will be surprised as to how much you can save by adopting a regular paper shredding policy.
· It Ensures Protection Of A Company’s Data
In addition to protecting customer data, paper shredding also ensures the safety of a company’s very own sensitive information which, if it falls into the wrong hands, can cause a lot of inconvenience to the business as a whole.
Also, when paper shredding is a part of any company’s policies, its employees also remain satisfied that their personal data is in good hands and is protected.
What If You Want To Destroy Only A Few Documents?
However, small businesses or households also have some old documents which cannot be directly disposed because they contain personal data or other sensitive information. For them, FedEx offers an alternative service.
At the rate of only $0.79 per pound of documents, FedEx holds your papers and then transfers them to the Iron Mountain for shredding.
Another alternative option is to buy a paper shredder according to your needs. Different sizes of paper shredders are easily available in the market for destroying small quantities of papers.
Keeping in view every aspect of every service offered by the 3 national paper shredding companies reviewed in this article, it can easily be concluded that Iron Mountain tops the list.
Even though it certainly suffers from a minor drawback that it does not offer a drop-off facility, why would anyone need to carry huge stacks of papers to a company’s office.
When the company can either come to your office to do the paper shredding in front of you or can send its representatives to pick up the papers to shred them at its own facility.
For large businesses, a drop-off facility is not an ideal option because it will increase the cost of paper shredding for them because they would need to arrange a large vehicle to take the papers to the company’s office.
Therefore, when it comes to large businesses, Iron Mountain offers the best overall services among all the three options.
The WiseSmallBusiness Team is full of industry experts and successful business owners willing to contribute important business articles.