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Implementing an effective document destruction and recycling policy

Aug 2, 2023Data Security

With the requirement for compliance on data management growing for businesses, it is more important than ever to have a strong document destruction and recycling policy in place.

With so much sensitive information being stored, it is essential to ensure that the information kept on paper is properly disposed of when it’s no longer needed. A well-crafted document destruction and recycling policy will help to protect your company’s data and reputation. It will also help you to comply with relevant regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

After the initial focus on implementing GDPR in 2018, companies across Europe have had to maintain compliance or face the consequences. For the largest companies there have been eye watering penalties. Internet giant Meta’s EU base in Ireland was fined €1.2bn by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for breaching the flagship data protection law.

Ensuring your company carries out good practice around document destruction and recycling will help prevent you falling foul of the regulations.

How We Can Help With Your Document Shredding Requirements

ShredPro is a professional paper shredding company that offers secure, efficient and cost-effective shredding and recycling services for a range of customers.

Working to accredited levels, we ensure customers achieve the highest standards in the industry to ensure maximum protection of your confidential information while helping the planet, recycling your shredding to reduce the demand for natural resources.

Legal Requirements

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires businesses to protect sensitive data in a secure manner. The Information Commissioner’s Office, which oversees the enforcement of GDPR, says:

“You must ensure that you have appropriate security measures in place to protect the personal data you hold.”

Deleting your unrequired data in a secure way, authorised with a shredding certificate of destruction, can help with compliance. The ICO adds:

“Deleting records that you no longer need, or are not proportionate to retain any longer, is an essential part of a good records management system.”

Practical steps you can take

Here are some tips for shaping an effective document destruction and recycling policy:

  1. Define the scope of your policy: What types of documents will be covered? This could include everything from financial records to customer contracts to employee files. As accredited experts in the data field, ShredPro can help you draft your policy.
  2. Identify the different methods of destruction: There are a number of different ways to destroy documents, including shredding, incineration, and pulping. The method you choose will depend on the sensitivity of the information contained in the documents. Partnering with a company like ShredPro will ensure you receive a scheduled service, carried out to a high standard and with documentation to prove compliance.
  3. Factor in the practicalities of recycling: The easier it is for employees to recycle, the more likely they are to do it. Make sure that your recycling bins are located in convenient places and that they are clearly labelled. Colleagues also need to know why recycling is important and how to do it properly. You can educate them through posters, flyers, and training sessions.
  4. Establish a schedule for destruction: How often will documents be destroyed? How will you prove the work has been carried out. Experts like ShredPro can evaluate the volume of documents your company generates and reduce your level of risk.
  5. Designate responsible parties: Who within the organisation will be responsible for implementing the policy? This could include employees in the IT department, the legal department, or the facilities department. An identified person in every section of the business can share responsibility.
  6. Provide training to employees: All employees should be trained on the policy and how to properly dispose of documents so they can play their part. All training should include information on how to protect data, as well as how to report security incidents.
  7. Promote a positive work environment: Complying with data regulations is not about scaring colleagues. Encourage them to take responsibility in a supportive culture where people are encouraged, not frightened.
  1. Review the policy regularly. As your company’s needs change, you may need to update your policy. A regular review with a partner like ShredPro can help you evaluate your progress. The policy should be clear and concise, so that employees can easily understand it. The policy should also be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the company’s needs.

By following these tips, you can create an effective document destruction and recycling policy that will protect your company’s data and reputation.


We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our paper shredding services. We are confident that you will be happy with our services.

Customer Testimonial

“ShredPro look after several of our sites throughout the Midlands, they are a professional, reliable and friendly shredding company who provide us with a first-class shredding service. The cabinets that they place around our facilities are secure and blend in well with our surroundings. I would recommend this shredding company to anyone who needs a cost-effective service for their confidential waste needs.”

Graham George
Bravton Mercedes Group

About ShredPro

ShredPro recycles 100% of the paper we shred, all in compliance with the environmental management system ISO 14001. This ensures that our own environmental impact and therefore those of our customer is controlled. All our paper is recycled at local UK mills, again reducing the impact on the environment and investing in the local economy.

Contact us today to learn more about our paper shredding and recycling services and get your free quote.

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