Articles and News

September 28, 2015

Off-site vs. On-site Shredding: Which one is better for your business?

Things to Consider: A Shredding Plan 101

To determine whether in-house shredding or outsourcing a company is best for your workplace, consider the following:

  • The volume of information you will need to shred each day, week or month

  • The level of security your discarded documents require (e.g., if any federal or state regulations with which your company must comply?)

  • The cost of a DIY work pace; calculate the number of employees needed, the total hours need to spend on shredding, and the time lost on core business activities

It is typical for a company to place secure document shredding on the backburner; some seek to satisfy compliance regulations by purchasing a few in-house shredders and leaving it up to the staff to destroy discarded documents. However, many self-managed shredding solutions are rarely considered an imperative job duty; with these decisions being left to overburdened employees, your company may face greater security risks. Also, a DIY approach does not provide certification of destruction to regulators.


Most companies handling high volumes of sensitive information—anything from Social Security and credit card numbers to extensive medical records— realize the importance of outsourcing a secure shredding service provider that is uniquely qualified (and certified) to meet higher security standards.

The best shredding services are National Association for Information Destruction (NAID®) certified.  A secure document shredding company can certify that your sensitive documents are securely destroyed in compliance with federal and state regulations. After your documents are destroyed your secure shredding partner will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction.


Offsite Shredding


Offsite shredding companies will transport your documents to a secure facility location for them to be destroyed by high security personnel.Typically, they use secured bins, which your employees fill with discarded documents.

 Benefits of Offsite Shredding                                     

  • The shredded paper is typically mixed and compacted into bales for recycling. Some people feel the mixed shredding provides greater security and protection against documents being re-created.
  • You will receive a Certificate of Destruction, verifying the materials were completely destroyed

Cons of Offsite Shredding

  • More personnel is involved because the materials must be picked up and transported to the facility before any materials are shredded. It’s critical to verify that all people who have contact with your materials are prescreened.
  • Offsite service providers often sort the documents prior to shredding in order to improve the recyclability of the paper, leaving your information unnecessarily exposed.
  • You don’t have physical access to the documents once they have left your office so there is no way to visually view and verify that your confidential documents have been shredded.
  • It is difficult to pinpoint how long sensitive information is left unattended or potentially unsecured in queue or a loading dock before it is shredded.
  • The actual transportation itself offers another element of uncertainty – does the provider have a redundancy plan in case the transportation vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident?
  • There can be a long time between when it is collected and when the information is shredded, further delaying receipt of a certificate of destruction.



Onsite Shredding


Onsite shredding companies will shred your documents on your company premises. This option allows for the process to be monitored by a representative of your company in the secure chain-of-custody policy provided by secure document destruction services. Typically, they use secured bins, which your employees fill with discarded documents. And the destruction service arrives at your scheduled service time to shred in their state of the art mobile shredding unit.


Benefits of Onsite Shredding 

  • Your materials are transported after they are destroyed. Any person who handles the shredded paper will not be able to read it. 
  • All shredded paper is mixed together in the truck, making it virtually impossible to piece back together. With the materials being destroyed onsite, there also is no risk associated with the transportation vehicle breaking down or losing the documents before they are destroyed.
  • The materials are securely handled on your premises, so you know exactly who had access to the materials before being destroyed. 
  • Documents are not left unattended so they are not exposed to undo risk (example: loading dock)
  • You can witness the entire document destruction process AND immediately receive a Certificate of Destruction.


Cons of Onsite Shredding     

  • It typically costs more than offsite shredding , because you are paying for the provider to come to your place of business and destroy the documents


Onsite shredding options provide a higher level of security because the materials are handled by fewer personnel and are destroyed immediately on your premises. Without onsite accountability, you can’t truly verify the process and be sure of what happens once the documents leave your office.




Keeping this in mind, you will be well on your way to choosing a document shredding provider that not only fits your needs, but also gives you the confidence to set your mind at ease by knowing  that your customers are protected against identity theft.



Rock Solid Shredding provides customized paper and hard drive shredding services that assist businesses with complying with legislation while protecting information.

Contact them at 501.940.9900 or fill out the Contact Form.

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