HI Brian, speaking as a former user of shredding services (while in the
security dept. of Fidelity Investments) and as an operator of a shredding
service (10 years and counting) I would say that the on site/off site debate
is alive and well. The bottom line with off site shredding services in to
make sure that you hire one that is in actuality a security firm first not a
scrap processor or a recycler. We have numerous stories of firms that have
been burned by alleged off site shredding firms. (many of these stories can
be found in Peter K's work). It is CRUCIAL to audit and take unannounced
visits to your vendor to ensure proper security.
On site vendors preach the hazards of off site shredding and to a certain
degree their points are accurate when comparing them to recyclers or pretend
shredding firms. On site provides a different level of security, not
particularly better or worse than off site but different. It is important to
realize that even on site shredders need to be audited. We gained a client
when they happened to observe that the on site shredder they were using
simply stacked the material in the shredding compartment and was about to
leave with the material still intact.
We provide both types of services so we have no particular ax to grind on
way or the other. Obviously if you are a Chevy dealer, you push Chevy's over
If you like, I have a checklist that is handy to evaluate off site services
to determine and rate their security level and to ensure that they are
legitimate, let me know if you would like a copy.
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