paper shredsThe usual paper cut most shredding companies offers is approximately 2.25 inches long and 5/8th of an inch wide. If your shredding vendor is NAID AAA, it’s very likely that they’ll be shredding paper particles to that size. While NAID does not have a “standard,” if a company is not cutting to the above measurement they’re not likely to be NAID AAA Certified.

But here’s the question: How do you know your shredding vendor is actually cutting to that size? The size of the paper cut greatly affects the amount of time required for a driver to shred a typical 95-gallon shred bin. The smaller the cut size, the longer the process takes. The 2.25 inches long and 5/8th of an inch-wide cut takes roughly eight minutes to shred from the point the bin is lifted up off the ground until it is emptied and back on the ground.

Some unscrupulous vendors will actually use a different cutting screen that is twice as fast and, as a result, produces a cut that is twice as large. In pure dollars and cents, if a shredding driver has 30 bins to shred and he or she can do it in half the time what was achieved? Labor and fuel savings! And at what expense? The security of your confidential information.

As any NAID AAA Certified shredding vendor will advise you, we are not allowed to open the rear doors of our trucks once they leave our dispatch facility. We can open them when we are discarding the shredded paper for processing back at the plant. Knowing that, there are a few things you can do to protect your company’s legal risk.

  1. When evaluating shredding vendors, ask to visit the facility of whoever you have tentatively decided to entrust your documents to. If a vendor says no or it’s not necessary, tell them it’s a requirement (assuming you did not make that a bidding condition) and if they still are reluctant – move on to the next vendor.
  2. Don’t let a shredding vendor offer looking in the small glass viewing window, normally on the rear door, as an alternative. We have heard enough stories that some firms will actually tape a box full of properly cut paper to the back-viewing window.
  3. We have found the best solution is to make sure whoever you select includes in their contract or agreement, which is a written legal document, a declaration under penalty of perjury that the cut you have been promised is the cut you will receive. You may find that it quickly separates the good from the bad players who are bidding.

The bottom line is it’s your risk and responsibility to your company, your fellow employees and customers to make sure you have take every effort to provide the utmost Care, Custody and Control of the personal and private information generated in the course of your business.