Some guidelines to help you decide.
Paper shredders range in size from low volume desk-side office models, to departmental shredders consisting of medium and heavy-duty shredders, upwards to larger centralized industrial-sized bulk volume shredders.
Paper shredders range in security levels too, from NSA regulated DIN 66399 P-7 paper shredders for classified information and CUI to non-classified and commercial shredders considered P-4 and P-5 cross-cut models or just simply protecting your own Privacy Act materials for business use. So, how many shredders do you need? Will a large centralized unit or a smaller number of departmental or office shredders make more sense to your organization’s destruction requirements, security needs, and budget?
When choosing a paper shredder, you must first consider your security requirement. What level or particle size shredder is going to meet that requirement? Next you must consider your volume. What shredder is going to offer the sheet capacity, bin capacity, and motor size to meet the demands of your destruction requirements? How much shredding will you need to do either daily, weekly, or monthly to handle your organization’s destruction requirements? Will you be better suited doing volume shredding daily, weekly, or monthly? Or would your organization be better off shredding as needs arise, placing shredders in hallways and copier/mailrooms?
Using a centralized paper shredder can provide advantages to any destruction program. Volume of paper: having the ability to destroy greater volumes of paper in a shorter period of time. This would allow your organization more time to save or store these materials prior to destroying them. Utilizing one or a select few to collect the materials and operate the shredder: A centralized shredder can also reduce overall labor, preventative maintenance costs, and waste collection.
Departmental and office shredder models could be a greater convenience and allow for immediate destruction. There would be less accountability for collecting and storing documents as workers would have easy access for destroying their own sensitive materials by utilizing a paper shredder placed in their work area. Multiple shredders might mean more preventative maintenance, plastic bags, lubrication oil, and waste collection. It might also eliminate the need for secure storage containers as workers would shred as materials as needed.
There are several advantages and disadvantages for having a centralized shredder versus multiple shredder units placed within a facility. These mostly depend on what your budget, volume of materials, security level, and requirements dictate. SEM has over 50 years of experience in the information destruction solutions business and this is where our expertise can help you decide which shredder solution would be most beneficial to your organization.