Confidential paper disposal – still blowing in the wind?

Most companies will dispose of large quantities of waste paper and magnetic media that comprise of correspondence, plans, figures or formulae that may be confidential or secret.

It has never been more important for senior management to specify how this material should be handled. 

Public and media interest in how organisations handle their confidential data has never been higher.

A lowly HM Revenue & Customs mailing clerk’s decision to send some CD’s in the post, resulted in parliamentary questions to the Prime Minister, a police investigation and the resignation of Sir Paul Gray, head of the 70,000 staff organisation.
Surely every Chief Executive and Managing Director has launched an urgent enquiry into how their organisation is handling and disposing of its confidential data and papers?

Not if Bill Swan, director at Paper Round, a leading security shredding company’s experience is anything to go by. 

Bill Swan says; “We regularly meet facilities managers to discuss their security shredding requirements. One of the first questions we ask is – what is their company’s policy on document retention and disposal, and what paper do they view as confidential and non-confidential. Time and time again we find that companies have no formal policy, leaving managers to struggle to put something sensible in place.
Facilities management company Dalkia provides a range of services and also helps companies reduce energy consumption and operate in a more environmentally sustainable way.

Dalkia joined Paper Round in 2005 because its client Ofcom needed a reliable recycling and secure shredding provider. 

Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across TV, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.

Much of its communication is highly sensitive and so they needed strict policy on confidential waste destruction to help staff identify what needed to be securely shredded and avoid sensitive material getting into the wrong hands.
Facilities staff distribute Paper Round’s security sacks to the employees, who then seal them with tamper-proof tags when full.

The sealed bags are then securely locked in a designated room ready for collection.

They also have locked wheeled bins for confidential waste on each floor. Paper Round makes collections on a weekly basis.

Vehicles are equipped with satellite tracking systems to ensure safe delivery to the secure shredding site.

Ofcom then receives monthly certificates of destruction confirming the secure shredding of all the materials collected.
In 2007 Paper Round collected almost 20, 000 kilos of confidential waste from Ofcom.

With such high volumes, facilities manager Sue Lee said:

‘It is essential to have a clear policy for staff in place and a reliable service provider for our convenience and complete peace of mind. Helping our clients operate in a more environmentally friendly way is also a top priority for us. We use Paper Round because we know the paper is being recycled once it has been shredded and so helps to reduce Ofcom’s carbon footprint.’

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