Why use a mobile shredding service

As information security becomes increasingly important, more and more businesses want extra assurance that their physical documents are being handled and destroyed with the proper care. The best option to give you more control and oversight in this process is mobile shredding. This service uses a box truck equipped with an industrial shredder to shred documents securely at your location. Here is our guide to help you find out if this option is right for you and give you tips for selecting a professional service provider.

How does it work?

Mobile shredding is also referred to as on-site shredding because the shredding takes place at the customer’s location. You will need to decide if you want scheduled service which takes place at regular intervals such as once a week, twice a month, or even once a quarter, or a one-time service for a big clean out that is often called a purge. Mobile shredding is typically best suited to those receiving scheduled service or small to medium purges of 100 to 300 pounds of paper.

Scheduled service

For scheduled service, the shredding company will provide a shred collection container that will be left at your location. Your team will then add paper to this container an a regular basis. It is important to create a policy requiring employees to put all unneeded paper in this bin because you do not want individual employees deciding which documents are worth securely destroying. Memos, handwritten notes, copies, magazines, etc can all be added to the shred container. This will give you peace of mind that all secure information is being destroyed.

When the bin is scheduled for service, a service representative will come to your location. They will collect the bin and take it outside to a mobile shred truck. Mechanical arms will lift the bin and empty paper into the hopper. Paper will move down the hopper to an onboard industrial shredder. Most shred trucks are equipped with internal cameras and an external monitor. This allows you, the customer, to watch as paper moves into the shredder.

One-time projects

For one-time projects, it doesn’t normally matter how the paper has been stored, whether in loose piles, in boxes, plastic bins, or filing cabinets. The service representative will arrive at your location with shred bins. They will fill the bins with paper and then take them out one or two at a time to the shred truck for immediate destruction. This process will be repeated until all of the paper has been shredded.

All shredded paper will remain locked in the back of the truck. Paper will either be unloaded directly at a recycling center or taken back to the plant. At the plant it will be pressed into 1,000 lbs. bales. These bales will later be sent off directly to a paper mill for recycling. Since the shred truck carries an average of 10,000 lbs. of shredded paper, the massive volume inhibits any attempt at reconstruction regardless of the method used for recycling.

Benefits of mobile shredding

While plant-based shredding is also a secure process, some organizations and industries require the extra oversight of mobile shredding. This on-site option allows you to accompany the paper to the shred truck and watch by monitor as the documents enter the onboard shredder. This leaves no question about how the paper was handled and processed. No other professional shredding options allows you, the customers, to maintain control and see the the actual shredding process.

How to choose a mobile shredding service provider

Not all service providers are created equal. You are choosing a business partner to properly handle your documents in a responsible and transparent way. You want to clearly know their standards and processes. Here are few tips to help you find the right service provider for your needs.


First, pick a professional service which is third party certified. The most common and trusted certification for the shredding industry comes from the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). Generally, you will be able find the NAID AAA certified seal displayed on the company’s website. If you are not sure, simply ask their representative. Some businesses pay to become NAID members in order to access certain resources. However, they do not go through the extensive auditing process which is required to become AAA certified.

The certification process and requirements are regularly updated to stay ahead of the latest and most important legal and regulatory standards. Passing the NAID certification process guarantees the service provider is meeting or surpassing standards related to FACTA, the HIPAA Privacy Rule, and more. Be careful to select a service provider that has an active AAA certification. To find a certified provider, you can search the NAID listings. You can also learn more about the certification requirements HERE.


Second, choose a service provider that will responsibly recycle the shredded paper. This not only guarantees that your documents will never be reconstructed, it also had obvious environmental impact. While most paper produced today comes from trees grown in sustainable forests, the production of new paper still requires the use of other natural resources such as water, petroleum, and electricity. However the biggest impact for your local area is the benefit of keeping paper out of local landfills. This will extend their life and usefulness.


Third, choose a provider that is transparent with their standards and processes. For instance, you want the ability to watch your paper as it is emptied into the hopper and enters the onboard industrial shredder. You should be able to ask specific questions about:  how your paper is handled, how they determine your pricing, and how they hire the service representatives that will be servicing your location. Another aspect of transparency is good communication about any changes in your schedule or pricing.

Don’t be fooled by looks. Make sure your service provider has guaranteed you will only receive mobile shredding services, and that you will be clearly informed if this service is ever changed. In some areas (especially large urban centers), certain providers use trucks that look exactly look shred trucks, but do not have an onboard shredder. Instead the bins are emptied straight into the back of the truck. The paper is then taken to a plant for shredding. Plant-based shredding is a secure option, but if you require mobile shredding, make sure that is the service you are receiving.

Is mobile shredding right for you?

Because of the nature of mobile shredding, it is nearly impossible to have pricing by the pound. If you receive regularly scheduled service, there should be little or no difference between mobile shredding and plant-based shredding. However, for one time projects mobile shredding is best for small to medium sized jobs of 100 to 300 pounds. If price is a big issue for you, discuss other secure options with your service representative such as pick up for plant-based shredding or drop off at a secure facility.

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