What’s the difference between commercial and domestic shredding services?

Commercial shredding and domestic shredding can usually follow the same physical process when it comes to destruction, depending on the content of the materials*. However, that does not mean commercial shredding and domestic shredding should be treated the same. Protecting confidential data is much more complex than ensuring it’s properly destroyed. This is because businesses have different legal obligations to meet than individuals.

Taking care of commercial documents BEFORE shredding.

Businesses have a legal obligation to safeguard confidential data. This includes personal data about employees, customers, suppliers, and anything else that could be sensitive. To oversimplify, businesses must ensure confidential materials are not accessible to any unauthorised personnel. By doing so, companies can help to prevent a data breach.

Methods that businesses take to avoid data breaches include things like implementing access controls for both digital and physical files and data, locking and passcode protecting areas where confidential materials are stored, keeping materials that need to be shredded in lockable containers, and implementing clean desk policies.

In contrast, individuals are not legally obliged to keep their confidential materials safe. While we don’t advise it, a person could just put their confidential paperwork in their domestic general waste bin. While it would put them at risk of fraud and identity theft, they wouldn’t have the Information Commissioner’s Office knocking on their door. Of course, we would always recommend that individuals take measures to safeguard personal documents before and during disposal.

So, if confidential materials are handled differently by businesses and individuals before shredding, why would the shredding process be the same?

The shredding process.

Using a specialist shredding provider for destroying confidential materials is an option that millions of companies and individuals use. While the solution shredding services provide is often the same for both types of customers, businesses and individuals are normally looking for different advantages.

For example, businesses may prioritise finding a shredding supplier that can offer regular shredding collections and will issue a Waste Transfer Note and Certificate of Destruction after every collection for the company’s audit trail. An individual may want something else. For instance, they may just want to use a quick shredding service where all materials are recycled. So, while the process may be the same, a good shredding supplier should make sure every service meets the needs of both individuals and businesses. How do we do this?

Bespoke shredding services.

Shred Station’s standard service offering comes with the below advantages.

Security: ensuring the reconstruction of documents isn’t possible.

  • We shred materials into small 15mm fragments as standard. This alone greatly diminishes any risk of reassembly.
  • Using specialist machinery, we mix your materials in with tonnes of other materials in a process known as commingling. This happens in both the shredding process and the baling process. We produce a huge number of shredded paper bales each day, weighing around 650kg per bale. By mixing this way, we aim to ensure that no two fragments from the same original document could be found in one single bale. This renders reassembly impossible.
  • As well as ensuring documents or other materials aren’t physically possible to reconstruct, we also have very strict access controls to ensure the materials aren’t accessible to the public, both on our trucks and at our shredding facilities. All our services meet BS EN 15713 standards and all of our staff are vetted to BS7858 standards at a minimum.

Proof: giving customers evidence of destruction.

  • After every service, you’ll be issued a Waste Transfer Note and Certificate of Destruction for your audit trail. For businesses, this is very important as it gives you proof of destruction – something very useful for GDPR compliance.
  • With our on-site services, you can stand alongside our shredding trucks and witness our operatives tipping your bags, boxes and bins directly into the onboard shredder. With on-site services, your Certificate of Destruction is issued immediately via email.

Accessibility: ensuring we provide an efficient service that suits all customers.

  • We offer on-site shredding on board our bespoke vehicles, off-site shredding where we collect materials and transport them to our destruction facilities, and depot drop-off services where you can bring your materials directly to us for a fraction of the price. Whatever suits you best, we can facilitate.
  • Our services are available on a one-off basis, on a regular schedule, or just as and when you need them. With our regular services, we will provide shredding bins for you, keeping your materials secure even before destruction.
  • If your site is hard to find, that’s not a problem. We’ve integrated what3words into our operations systems to ensure our drivers can find you easily.
  • We have a huge fleet of shredding and collection vehicles, so if you have access issues, no need to worry. We can just send a smaller truck.
  • For our customers who need us to go at a slower pace or to use a little extra sensitivity, we offer an Extra Care Personal Service at no extra cost. We won’t ask any questions. Just let us know if you require this option and we’ll book a little extra time for you.
  • Our customer portal lets our regular customers know exactly when we’re coming over the next four weeks and provides a place to view and download all Waste Transfer Notes, Certificates of Destruction and all invoices.

Convenience: keeping things easy for our customers and shredding everything in one place.

  • With Shred Station, there’s no need to shop around for different companies for every different material you need to destroy. We shred paper, hard drives, media devices, textiles, products and much more.
  • We like to keep things convenient for our customers. You don’t need to waste time removing plastic wallets, staples, paper clips or even lever-arch folders. Our industrial shredders can handle all of that. Little fragments of plastic wallets or paper clips are easy to remove during the recycling process using specialist machinery.

Environmental friendliness: causing minimal environmental impacts.

  • Shred Station has been CarbonNeutral® certified since January 2019 and we deliver all of our services carbon-neutral.
  • Our fleet is comprised of Euro 6 Low Emission vehicles, using soot filters and AdBlue solutions to stop harmful fumes.
  • We have planted thousands of trees and even offer our customers the option to opt into a Shred a Tonne, Plant a Tree scheme.
  • We recycle 100% of the paper we shred at UK mills and nothing we destroy goes to landfill.

The combination of these above advantages makes our standard shredding service suitable for all customer types.

Why does Shred Station treat commercial and domestic customers the same?

It doesn’t matter to us if you’re a single person, a small business, or a massive multi-site corporate giant. We provide the same respect, security, and professionalism that we give to all our customers.

The bottom line is that we want our customers to feel confident about data destruction – not afraid of it. This is a sentiment we apply to both residential and commercial customers. Our sales team doesn’t use any scare tactics or pressure selling; all we want is for our customers to make informed decisions that can help them to protect their confidential materials, whether that’s with us or not. We enable our customers to make their own decision. To help them do this, we have created many free guides about topics such as fraud awareness, explaining what shredding standards mean, and the basics of GDPR.

The only real difference that sets our commercial customers apart from our domestic customers is their requirements. For instance, a large commercial customer may require a regular service for larger quantities of paper. In this case, we’d likely send a bigger truck and provide confidential waste bins before the service takes place.

What shredding method is best for businesses?

The reason we provide the same standard service to businesses and individuals is that our standard service is good enough for both. We are fully accredited and all our services meet BS EN 15713 standards. Of course, some customers may require higher security options, for instance, embassies and the military, but, generally, the standard shredding we provide is secure enough for everyone.

*Usually, commercial and domestic customers will receive the same service. However, if your organisation requires shredding for Top Secret or highly confidential materials that need extra protection, we can offer high-security shredding and granulation services. With these services, your materials are shredded into much smaller fragments and we can provide staff with higher levels of security clearance.

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