What do we do with old shredder blades?

At Shred Station, there are three main types of industrial destruction machines we use. These are on-site mobile shredders, off-site mega shredders, and granulators.

While your typical home or office shredder does require regular maintenance and oiling, industrial shredder maintenance is an entirely different beast. Because the machines destroy such enormous quantities of confidential paperwork or other materials – up to 2,000,000 sheets per hour – they require near-constant servicing, including sharpening and replacing cutting heads.

At Shred Station, we are a Zero to Landfill company and recycle all materials where possible. This goes for the things we shred for our customers but also the materials we use in-house. For example, we have closed the loop on our signature blue confidential waste bins. We also recycle all old shredder blades at metal recycling facilities.

On-site shredders

Our on-site/mobile shredders can destroy around 600,000 sheets of paper every hour. To optimise throughput, we must keep our shredders sharp. With dozens of on-site shredding trucks operating across the UK, this keeps our team of engineers very busy.

On-site shredders destroy materials with twin shaft mechanisms. Imagine two enormous metal rolling pins with sharp blades around the outside, rolling against each other to rip materials into small confetti-sized pieces.

Every shaft needs to have its blades sharpened at least every three months to ensure the shredders run smoothly.  You can see how this works in the photo below. Because these can be sharpened, we don’t have to replace the blades very often. When we do, they are recycled at metal recyclers.

Image showing an industrial shredder being sharpened

Off-site shredders

Our off-site shredders are huge machines that can shred 2,000,000 sheets of paper per hour. As you can see in the image below, these shredders have many rotor blades. These rotor blades are cubed in shape, but with one round concave face, creating an extremely sharp edge. The sharp edge slots between the jagged metal edge of the shredder opening, cutting any materials into small pieces as it rotates. Our engineers turn the cube-shaped blades weekly to utilise all four sharp edges. Unlike on-site shredders, however, these blades cannot be sharpened. Once they are dulled, they must be removed and replaced. Accounting for all our depot shredders across the UK, we replace hundreds of these blades every week. These too are recycled at metal recycling facilities.

Image of off-site industrial shredder, highlighting the rotor blades.


Granulators are the machines we use for ultra-high security shredding. They are capable of shredding materials into tiny 2mm fragments, or even dust if required. Granulators work slightly differently from shredding machines to achieve this tiny particle size, with blades rotating against a drum, trapping materials until they are broken into small pieces. When fine enough, materials can fall through tiny screen holes to exit the machine. Like off-site shredders, granulation blades are not possible to sharpen, so must be replaced when dulled. As with all our destruction machinery, these blades are recycled.

Image of granulator machine being used and resulting material size.

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