Perhaps you’ve decided today is the day: you need to get rid of the piles and piles of paperwork you no longer need to keep. Or, maybe you’re going digital, so paper documents are becoming excess clutter. Either way, you have documents you need to get rid of completely, as they contain confidential or need-to-know information. Chances are, you want to be cost-effective in this endeavor, which begs the question: how much does it cost to shred documents?

Benefits of shredding documents

Privacy, privacy, privacy. If you shred documents, you’re maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of whatever documents you’re getting rid of. And, shredding keeps you in compliance with laws governing document retention.

A pro of mobile shredding would be the fact that it saves time. All you’ll have to do is gather the documents, and then the pickup person carries them to the truck for you and waltzes them away to destruction.

What are my options with shredding documents?

Shredding services exist to make the task of shredding documents that much easier. They provide services like mobile shredding, where a truck can come to your office and shred them while you watch. Mobile shredding typically asks that you limit your amount of items to be about 300 pounds. This option costs about $100.

Another option is offsite shredding, which is typically for places that have a high volume of items to be shredded. The perk of this option is that you don’t have to leave your office, and you get a certificate of destruction upon completion.

A third option for shredding documents is drop-off paper shredding, which entails you bringing your documents to be shredded at a retail shredding location. However, you don’t witness the shredding process if you use this service. This service abides by the national average, which is $1 per pound. A box full of papers tends to be about 30 pounds.

A fourth option is to ship and shred your documents. The price for this service is similar to the drop-off shredding, in that it’s per pound. However, the more you have to shred, the more value you tend to get for your service. For instance, a 30-pound box costs $30, but a 65-pound box costs $45. You won’t get to see the documents get shredded, but you’ll get a certificate of destruction with this service as well.

Price tends to vary by location, who you’re working with on the shredding project and various other factors that can be evaluated using a free quote system.

Things to consider with retail shredding

Are you comfortable adding steps in the destruction process? Typically, retailers use a third-party to shred your documents, which means more people dealing with your documents. That can be a security risk, depending on what the documents are.

Is convenience more important than cutting costs? Shredding at a retailer means that you’re privy to wandering the store and potentially picking up products you don’t need. That could result in time wasted as well as extra expenses.

Finally, are you down with having your documents chilling in someone else’s facility for weeks, potentially months? Because of the fact that retailers use third-party shredding companies, your stuff could be waiting a while before actually getting the chop. Of course, some retailers may get to it ASAP, but there’s no guarantee. A loophole with this concern would be getting a certified shredding certificate that ensures the documents be destroyed as soon as possible.

So, how much does it cost to shred documents?

It depends on the volume and mode of shredding. Evaluate what you have to be shredded, and then consider making the digital switch to ensure safety, security, and simplicity.