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Old 01-05-2019, 04:27 PM
 
4,661 posts, read 3,980,449 times
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Your bank or your accountant may have commercial shredders come by on a regular schedule. You might be able to get your stuff shredded for a fee.
We have small shredstar shredders. You could buy a couple of those & alternate use when they become overheated & need to cool down. I have shredded an enormous amount of paper through ours with no apparent lasting damage.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:38 PM
 
8,080 posts, read 13,431,892 times
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Our State Credit Union has shred days and you do not have to be a member to use it..
You pull up and unload to the shred truck.

I would ask on your local city data forum for shred events coming up...
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,064 posts, read 2,961,676 times
Reputation: 13579
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Sort through it for the actual FIRST CLASS postage marks. Make TWO piles.
Then review the real mail to be sure you haven't missed anything important.

Good advice. Do you have a fireplace/wood stove/burn barrel or have a friend or neighbor with one you could use? There's no better or cheaper way to ensure it is all destroyed, than to burn it yourself.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
13,305 posts, read 25,203,654 times
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Also, Google is your friend for finding out when the next shred event is going to be in your area.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:33 PM
 
1,615 posts, read 739,853 times
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During the recession, after a layoff from my professional job, I worked for almost a year in the print services department of an office supply store that provided shredding services. Among my many tasks, I took bags and boxes of mail and papers from people, weighed them and gave them a price per pound for shredding.

If there was only a small amount, they could watch me as I would cram the stuff into the small opening of a large locked bin which would not admit my hand all the way. The bin was then picked up on a regular schedule by a shredding truck. If there were multiple boxes and bags, they just had to trust we would do as we promised.

It was a gross, disgusting, smelly job. Some people's stuff was pretty well organized but they were the exception. Generally speaking, I would have had to be insane or extremely desperate to want to pick through all that paper with the dust, dirt, cigarette ashes, hair, fur, insect carcasses, empty printer cartridges, misplaced razor blades, leaking ballpoint pens, the occasional mummified banana peel, and turned-to-stone cat poop on the off chance I could glean some useful information for nefarious purposes.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,012 posts, read 22,791,367 times
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I haven't read all of the replies, so forgive me if this is redundant.

I actually took documents to a small town office store that advertised safe document shredding. I took stuff there, and when my documents wouldn't fit in their locked bin, an employee went and got a key and opened up the bin.

In other words, the sensitive, private documents I wanted to be shredded, would have been easily accessible by any employee in that small town business, as all employees had access to the key to the bin.

So, first of all, if you want anything shredded you care about - be sure and shred it yourself.

Then, I highly suggest you don't put your shredded stuff into a nice neat bag, where someone could just reconstruct whatever it is you shredded. I'd empty the shredded paper into an open bin instead.

It's so irritating how much snail mail I get that I have to shred now, but I do shred it all myself at home. I learned the hard way that you need to be really careful about throwing out mail. I had my identity stolen more than once from mail that was thrown away. I'm no longer careless about this.

The last time it happened, was from a catalogue from a random company I never asked for a catalogue. I threw it away. Someone stole this catalogue addressed to me, with a customer form included, and they actually ordered a computer from the catalogue using the assigned customer info on the catalogue. I got a bill for the computer.

It was a huge pain in the rear to pay a notary public, get a police report, fill out a government form for Homeland Security, etc., for theft of my ID, to get out of paying the bill.

So, don't ignore stuff that's addressed to you. Be sure and shred it all. And don't trust anyone who says they will shred it for you, and it's supposedly secure. Giant pain in the rear, but less hassle and less expensive than filing police reports, paying notary publics, etc.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:13 AM
 
564 posts, read 169,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
It's so irritating how much snail mail I get that I have to shred now, but I do shred it all myself at home. I learned the hard way that you need to be really careful about throwing out mail. I had my identity stolen more than once from mail that was thrown away. I'm no longer careless about this.
Sorry that happened to you, and I'm sensitive to document destruction myself. When my Aunt went into a nursing home, I had the equivalent of five bankers boxes of documents to deal with, that woman kept every piece of paper everyone ever sent her, and I still have to deal with most of it.

I typically just tear up "bulk mail", even offers for credit cards, etc., and throw it in the trash. There's no more personal information in those than one could glean from a phone book. But as you say, I don't want anyone using the "preapproved" forms, so I destroy them.

For documents like old utility bills, I just tear off the small section with name, address, and account number, save those, and simply tear up and trash-can the rest. The same with old medical invoices, credit card bills, etc., the small scraps with relevant info, plus the high-level stuff, like bank documents, social security statements, etc., I used to shred at work (not on their time), they had a huge commercial shredder that would take a thirty sheets of documents at a time, and it would be almost impossible to reconstruct anything due to the sheer volume.

But now that I'm retired and don't have access to that shredder anymore, I tried something I saw on You Tube: You can take several pounds of paper destined for destruction (this is a few years' worth for me), tear it up into maybe 4" squares (do it while watching TV or something, it's a good exercise for hand strength), then place it in a five-gallon bucket. Add warm water and a couple cups of bleach. Put a lid on it and let it sit for three days, then use a paint stirrer and drill to "churn" it. Let it sit for another few days and repeat. When done, you take this "soup" and put it in an old pillow case, and squeeze it out into the sink, then dump into the regular trash. You end up with a pile of wet pulp that is less able to be reconstructed than shredding would make it. You could probably even use it for the compost pile if you wanted. This was kind of an "experiment" to see if it would work, and it does, but it does come with a couple hours of (total) labor attached. But, it is less time-consuming than putting individual sheets of paper into a home shredder, that tend to jam or otherwise self-destruct. I'm going to use this method again in a few years. Not as easy as handing it off to someone else for destruction, but I'm a cheap barstard, and it probably takes less time than driving it over to Staples or somewhere and standing in line. Just another chore, which is simple if you have a system.
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:04 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,773 posts, read 1,042,529 times
Reputation: 5960
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Twist View Post
Are you a mailman that hasn't been delivering all the mail?

Back in the 90s, Nick managed our baseball team. He was a letter carrier, and one day the headlines were all about a mailman that had gotten caught hiding bags of junk mail under his front porch. We asked Nick if that's what he did? "We used to burn it, but then the EPA caught us and made us stop."
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:50 AM
 
11,354 posts, read 8,388,904 times
Reputation: 7023
Shredding companies will come to your house. My neighbor and I were both moving. We shared the cost. It was like $75 dollars for a huge container. I only had 4 file boxes. The man came to the door, got my boxes. We watched as it was shredded. Took all of 10 minutes and cost half of 75 bucks. Get your block to hire the truck.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:37 AM
 
11,054 posts, read 8,473,966 times
Reputation: 27871
Just FYI. Most companies offer paperless billing and most banks offer bill pay services. There's very little need to get a lot of bills and statements in the mail. Just download, save your files, and back up.

This will tremendously reduce the amount of "real" mail.
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