Shredding Companies: Where should you take your papers?

Shredding Companies-Shredding-Free-Shred-Day

There are many shredding companies that offer various shredding services available to the public. The best one for you will be determined by what your goal is.


Free Shred Days

As of the day of this blog post (March 5, 2013), there are three major free shredding events held in San Antonio:January:

NAPO San Antonio and Goodwill SA team up for a Clear Your Clutter Event at Goodwill’s 281/Bitters location.

[Update: The above event is not planned for 2014.]


SACU holds free shred events at seven of its locations on the Saturday after taxes are due.


The Better Business Bureau holds an event at a different location each year in conjunction with Secure Your ID Day.


The pros of free shred days:

The first box or two are free.

The remaining boxes can be shredded for a nominal fee.

You can watch the shredding onsite.


The cons of free shred days:

You might have a rather large shred pile if you only shred three times per year.

At free events, you generally do not receive a certification of destruction.

You will have to wait (sometimes more than 30 minutes), as there are other people who want to watch their papers get shredded, too.



Big Box Stores

Chains such as Office Max and Office Depot offer shredding services for a relatively low fee of 60 to 70 cents per pound.

The pros:

It’s not free, but it’s cheap!

The cons:

They do not shred onsite. Your papers are supposed to be deposited into a locked bin that  contracted shredding companies will pick up once or twice per week. If this bin is full when you arrive, you will need to decide if you want to leave your shredding unsecured.

You might not be able to receive a certificate of destruction.

Shredding Companies

Shredding companies offer a variety of services. Some allow you to come in and watch your papers get shredded. Some will go to your place of business or residence and shred your papers in their truck. Some will only pick up and not allow you to watch.

Here’s what you need to ask when you call:

  1. Can I watch my papers get shredded?
  2. If so, what is the procedure when you come to me?
  3. Or, if I go into your office, will I need to make an appointment?
  4. If I cannot watch my papers get shredded, do you offer a certificate of destruction?
  5. What are your onsite and offsite prices?

Keep in mind that if you use a company like Shred-It, Iron Mountain or Pinnacle (all companies my clients have used), you will be working with a shredding company that’s been around for years. They would not be in business for such a long time if they’ve had security breaches. My clients have felt safe in leaving their papers with those companies and not necessarily watching the shredding happen.

Other shredding companies in San Antonio include Ranger, Lonestar, Cintas and Marshall.

Pinnacle has been my favorite of the group because they’re willing to work with “the smaller guy.” However, their schedule is not as flexible as the others.


We love helping our clients improve productivity! For more information about getting your papers and office organized with the assistance of a Certified Professional Organizer, call us today at (210) 892-4990 ext 73.



About Helene Segura

Helene Segura teaches go-getters how to use their time more efficiently in order to have a more peaceful life. For details about her, be sure to visit

  • Christopher James
    Posted at 23:01h, 10 August

    Company papers? Or just about any paper?

    • Helene Segura
      Posted at 07:36h, 12 August

      Just about any type of paper. If you’re unsure, you can contact the individual shredding company to double-check.

  • Lisa researching shredding safely
    Posted at 14:33h, 28 August

    Free shred days are a fantastic idea! It’s also always amazing to hear much they were able to shred on those days at one of those events. Looking forward to one in my area. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ellie Davis
    Posted at 16:37h, 19 March

    Thank you for suggesting you ask questions like “can I watch my papers being shredded” when calling a shredding company. I would imagine big businesses would have a lot of papers they need to properly discard of and I would hope they would do their research to ensure the papers were going into the right hands. I’m sure companies have to fit specific requirements in order to function as a shredding company.

    • Helene Segura
      Posted at 06:36h, 29 March

      Hello, Ellie! I’m with you on hoping that businesses do their research about who’s shredding their papers! I know that they must watch their pennies in order to make a profit, but sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best option.

  • Kairi Gainsborough
    Posted at 21:37h, 25 April

    Thanks for talking about the difference between dropping your documents off at a chain store and hiring a shredding company. I love that you suggested asking if you can watch your papers being shredded. That’s an option you probably couldn’t get in a big name store. And if it is required that you watch for security purposes, then you would want to pick a company that allows you to verify the work being done.

    • Helene Segura
      Posted at 07:28h, 26 April

      Thanks for stopping by, Kairi! I notice that people are becoming less concerned about paper security as the number of digital breaches increases. We need to be vigilant about both types of info, and that includes knowing what happens to papers that we want to shred. Have a great weekend!

  • Ridley Fitzgerald
    Posted at 12:10h, 03 May

    Thanks for the tips on finding a shredding service. We have so many documents in our home that need to be shredded; there’s piles and piles of them. Shredding companies seem like the best option because they give a variety of services.

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