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Document Destruction

Your organization is shredding tons of sensitive documents each year. You could be getting all that business, and increasing your value in the process.

September 2012 By Bob Neubauer
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In-plants are involved in nearly every aspect of a document's life cycle, from design through mailing. So why not complete the cycle by adding shredding to the list of services?

Several in-plants have done this, and are having great success at it. One of these is Printing Services at California State University, San Bernardino, which started offering shredding services on July 1.

"It's quite popular, and the campus is really happy that we're doing it," says Laura Sicklesteel, manager of the seven-employee operation.

It's also been a money maker for the in-plant, which charges $25 to shred the contents of a 64-gallon bin, and $15 for a smaller console shredding bin. In the first month of business, the in-plant generated more than $1,200 in revenue from shredding.

"So we're going to recover the cost of the equipment really quick," remarks Sicklesteel.

What's more, the in-plant gets $170 per ton from a local recycler for its print waste and shredded material. This is a much better deal than the university gets for its recycled material; it pays the city to haul away its recycling dumpsters.

"This takes quite a bit of printed matter and waste paper out of that stream," she says. "Now all of our print waste and the recycled [shredded] documents are a revenue positive stream for our department."

An added bonus, she points out, is that in-house shredding is a much "greener" option than having contractors bring diesel-burning trucks onto campus to shred.

Big Demand for Service

Printing Services got into the shredding business simply because of the demand for the service.

"The purchasing office, for many years now, has asked us to take on the campus-wide shredding," Sicklesteel says. Over the past 18 months, she adds, the campus has outsourced $28,000 worth of shredding, so she knew it would be a good business to get into.

To accomplish the task, the in-plant purchased an MBM DestroyIt 5009 cross-cut shredder with a 24-horsepower motor.

"It was robust enough to handle the anticipated volume," she says. Along with it, the shop bought a bin dumper, to empty bins onto a flat table, and 50 collection containers. The shredder has a 312-foot infeed conveyor, onto which the doomed documents are piled for continuous feeding through the shredding blades. If there's a jam, the machine automatically reverses to clear it. With hardened steel cutting shafts, it can handle some pretty thick materials, too, such as phone books.


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