Soaking vs. Shredding: Which is better for disposing of your documents?

When you don’t take the necessary steps to properly dispose of paper documents, you can risk your business security as well as the information of your clients. There are several ways to make sure your documents are disposed of properly, but two of the most common ways are soaking and shredding. Your data security depends on establishing reliable processes and adopting efficient tools to keep your security above board. Here are a few ways to think about the different disposal methods, and why they might make sense for you at scale.  

The Importance of Proper Record Disposal 

Your company’s records are a critical resource and their disposal requires the proper investment of time and resources to ensure your compliance with federal and state regulations as well as ensuring the security of your employee’s and clients’ information. Poor record disposal can result in security breaches, loss of confidential information, and loss of privacy. Failing to heed security-related laws and regulations can result in costly fines or even imprisonment.  

Pulping vs. Shredding 

There are a number of ways to fully dispose of business records when the time comes. Simply throwing such material in the garbage or recycling bin exposes your company to significant security threats. Such materials need to be disposed of in a way that completely removes the risk of a third party gaining access to sensitive information. The three most complete forms of document disposal include pulping, burning, and most commonly, shredding.  

Shredding is the most well-known of the paper disposal methods. Shredders are available to purchase in both personal and office capacities and are undoubtedly handy tools to have around the home and office. However, they are impractical for use with larger amounts of physical copies and records amassed by most companies. In such cases, they are often inefficient, messy, and don’t provide the level of security necessary for complete peace of mind. Shredded paper can be reconstructed making the security of the disposal method incomplete without the accompaniment of an additional disposal method such as incineration or pulping.  

Soaking as a Disposal Method

Pulping or soaking is essentially a process that breaks down the fibers of the documents into a liquid slurry before reusing the remaining material in the creation of post-consumer recycled content products. Pulping can be done after shredding takes place to make all information completely irretrievable. This method involves submerging your records into a bleach or bleach-like chemical that breaks down the fibers of the paper and destroys the colorants of ink, completely removing the information that was originally present on the documents. The remaining material is then blended and dried for further disposal.  

Reach Out to Us

Clearly, there are advantages of enlisting the help of a records management specialist such as Happy Faces Records Management in the disposal of business records. We are here to support businesses with flexible and secure document disposal methods that meet your needs and take the pain out of document management. Contact HF Services for more help today!

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