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Small Office Shredders are Costly: A Breakdown of Paper Shredding Cost

paper shredding cost

Paper Shredding Cost

It’s normal for businesses to want to save as much money as possible, but not everyone looks at the smaller expenses that really add up – like paper shredding cost. Most often, businesses of all sizes tend to rely on small, individual office shredders. They believe those small machines are efficient and can do the important job of protecting the confidential information of their clients, customers or patients in a cost-effective way.

Little do they know, if they added up all the money spent on using such a small shredding machine, they would realize that it’s not cost-effective at all. Not only are some of those machines too small to handle large volumes of paper, but they are expensive to maintain as well. In some cases, the maintenance on the machine may cost a lot more than simply purchasing a brand new one.

It’s possible that your employees are trustworthy, but it could be quite risky to allow them to decide what should be thrown in the trash and what should be shredded. If important information gets discarded and shredded properly, you could face the wrath of identity theft or suffer fines and penalties for not remaining compliant. It’s clear that shredded paper from a small office shredder can be easily put back together. Busy employees may not be consistent in their shredding and allow paper to stack up on their desk. There are great costs associated with these mistakes.

Here’s an estimate based on a typical office with 5 employees. The boss decides to purchase a small office shredder for his employees. He asks the employees to routinely perform the office shredding. The boss thinks he’s saving money and time by having his staff handle shredding. After the cost of the shredder, it’s estimated that the paper shredding cost could average to $100 per month – that’s $1,200 per year! This would of course include any employee labor and machine maintenance costs.

Breakdown of Monthly Paper Shredding Costs:

Maintenance                                                     $3.00
Garbage Bags                                                   $4.00
Depreciation/Replacement of Machine       $3.00
Employee Labor Costs                                    $87.00

 TOTAL $97.00 Per Month

This amount of money does not account for a Certificate of Destruction that needs to be on file, for the time spent cleaning up the mess or for a vast amount of lost productivity.

Additionally, if you choose to shred your documents in-house, here are some of the issues and risks your business could face:

  • Employees may not be consistent in their use of shredders
  • There is no proof of compliance with shredding regulations
  • Self-shredded material could be carelessly tossed into the trash
  • Certain sensitive information should not be handled by employees
  • Removing binder clips, paper clips, sticky notes, rubber bands is not productive
  • Office shredders can’t handle large volumes of paper at once
  • Office shredders are slow, inefficient, and break down easily

Security and Maintenance

A study published by The American Journal of Managed Care concluded that paper records were the moon factors for data breaches. Human error is a prime example of a crack in the data barrier that criminals can penetrate to gain sensitive information in any industry. This means that in-house shredding machines are highly susceptible to human error and only adds to your paper shredding cost. How often have you found sensitive documents that didn’t get shredded or accidentally thrown into the trash? 

Utilizing a paper shredding company eliminates all potential for human error, so you and your clients stay protected. The best shredding services adhere to compliant procedures that ensure that consumer information remains protected. It’s understandable why people think purchasing a paper shredder will save their business money. And even though the best shredders can drive a hole through your wallet, you can easily purchase one for under $100. 

However, average and expensive shredders still incur maintenance costs such as:

  • Shredder oil
  • Shredder bags
  • Sharpening blades
  • Removing dust and debris
  • Fixing paper jams
  • Potential permanent damage

As such, you might find that the great deal you found on Amazon costing you significantly more money than using a shredding service. 

Labor and Time Paper Shredding Cost

The saying “time is money” can apply to any business. And any time spent preparing paperwork to destroy is money lost. For example, you have to remove any non-paper items, separate each document, feed the paper, empty the bin, and clean up. If you have a significant amount of paperwork to destroy, this can take up a considerable portion of your day. The time your employees spend shredding documents is time they could be making sales. In addition to all the wasted time cleaning and maintaining your shredder, you have to consider the cost to get a Certificate of Destruction on file. Overall, the average cost of shredding in-house amounts to approximately $100 or more per month. And that’s not including the consequences of losing or mistakenly mishandling your client’s sensitive information. 

Using a Service

You can keep your overall paper shredding cost low without losing productivity in the office. When you look to hire a professional shredding company, it’s to your advantage to ensure that they’re NAID AAA Certified. If the company has this certification, you can be confident that the company will remain compliant with all shredding and privacy regulations. Paper shredding and destruction is a much more complicated process that can save you time and money in your business’ lifetime if done correctly. 

It’s much more cost-effective to utilize a professional shredding company with regular scheduled shredding services. It not only saves you time and money, it will protect your business information from getting into the wrong hands. Be sure to hire a NAID AAA Certified mobile shredding company so that you will remain compliant with privacy and shredding regulations. IntelliShred has been servicing the tri-state area for over two decades. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about shredding and destruction. Get in touch with our specialists at IntelliShred for any questions or information about how we can best serve you.