What happens after shredding?

If you’re looking to use a shredding service provider, you may ask yourself the question:

“What happens after shredding?”

While we can’t speak for all shredding companies, we can tell you what we do with your confidential materials once we shred them.

Paper materials

When we shred your confidential paperwork, we mix it with tonnes of other shredded paper and compact it into 600-700kg bales. From there, we transport your materials to UK paper mills where the shredded fragments are turned into recycled paper-based products. This could be anything from toilet paper to kitchen towels, sanitary pads, newspaper and recycled printer paper. In fact, you’ve probably seen some of the recycled brands we supply paper for when doing your weekly shop!

Hard drives

Hard drives are made from mostly metals, glass and ceramic. When we shred your hard drives, we send the fragments to metal refineries. These facilities use specialist equipment to separate the different types of metals from any small amounts of glass or ceramic. The metals are melted down to be reused, and any non-recyclable materials left over are incinerated to generate energy. This energy is then fed back into the National Grid at Energy from Waste facilities.


Textiles, in particular blended textiles, can be very difficult to recycle. A 100% cotton t-shirt, for instance, is easy to shred, recycle and turn back into lower-grade cotton fibre products like mop heads. Pure polyester is also very easy to recycle. It is made from tiny plastic fibres and when melted down, it can be used to make new polyester yarn. However, when you start adding polyester or synthetic materials to cotton and making polycotton blends, this process becomes extremely difficult.

With our textile shredding service, how we process your materials depends on what they are made from. If your materials can be recycled, even into low-grade products like insulation or dust cloths, we will always try to ensure we go down this route post-shredding. With non-recyclable materials, we send the shredded fragments to Energy from Waste.


At Shred Station we have a strict Zero to Landfill policy, even for non-recyclable materials. We choose Energy from Waste as a disposal method for non-recyclables because, unlike landfill, the Energy from Waste process doesn’t produce methane gas.

Sending Zero to Landfill is just one of our many environmental commitments. We have been CarbonNeutral® certified since 2019, have a solar-powered head office, a fleet of 80+ low-emission vehicles and much more. Read more about our environmental efforts by visiting our Corporate Social Responsibility pages.

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