Understanding The Difference Between On-Site & Off-Site Shredding

Every business creates confidential and sensitive information. Despite the best attempts to keep this information in the virtual world, a myriad of documents are still printed and thousands of sheets of paper are used daily. You may be surprised at some of the facts regarding paper usage.

Of course, many pieces of paper need to be stored. But, some don’t and the oldest items in storage also need to be disposed of. Although there are several ways to do this, the most effective is by using a high-security shredder.

That’s one which shreds into fine pieces and simultaneously cuts paper vertically and horizontally. In short, you need to decide the most efficient way to securely dispose of your sensitive and confidential documents.

The Basic Difference

You can purchase high-quality industrial shredders and install them in a suitable location within your premises. All paperwork produced which is no longer needed must be placed into the shredders and the shredded waste disposed of properly. The main question is whether staff can do that on an ad-hoc basis or if you need a dedicated member of staff for shredding duties.

That’s on-site shredding because it’s being performed on your premises.

The alternative is off-site. This is when you simply place all of your sensitive and confidential documents into boxes and pass them on to a professional firm. The firm will shred all your documents for you.

This service is simpler for you but it generally costs more to pay another firm to deal with the shredding for you. This is true even if you employ someone just to shred documents.


The biggest problem with on-site shredding is the volume of material that needs to be shredded. If there is a lot of it and you don’t have a dedicated employee for shredding, you’re likely to be quickly overloaded with the amount of shredding you have to do.

It’s essential to monitor it and create a viable solution to ensure all necessary papers are shredded as quickly as possible.

Sending your shredding off-site potentially creates a larger issue. You are reliant on the reputation and authenticity of your chosen shredding firm. In short, they are telling you they are shredding your documents and you have to simply trust them that this is the case.

It’s possible that they could be using the information themselves or simply discarding your documents, allowing someone else to potentially steal useful information. You will need to run background checks and assess the reputation of any off-site business. The more sensitive the information is the greater the importance that you check out off-site firms.

In many cases, it is simply safer to shred the documents on-site.

The Bottom Line

Your decision comes down, to a matter of trust more than cost. If you trust the third party to shred your documents properly then off-site is a good option. But, if you prefer to know that everything has been shredded and be able to see it with your own eyes, you need to invest in an industrial shredder and do it on-site.

More article

Recent Stories