What is a paper shredding event?

A paper shredding event is an organized event where individuals or organizations can bring their confidential or sensitive documents to be securely shredded on-site. These events are typically held by local businesses, community organizations, or government agencies as a way to promote identity theft prevention and encourage safe disposal of personal information.

During the event, participants can bring boxes or bags of paper documents, such as financial statements, credit card offers, medical records, and other sensitive information, to be shredded by a professional shredding company. The shredding is usually done on-site, with participants able to watch the process to ensure their documents are being properly destroyed.

Paper shredding events are usually free, but some may charge a small fee to cover the cost of the shredding service. These events are an effective way to help prevent identity theft and protect personal information.

Would you like to host your own community shredding event?

When we are hired to do an event we do our best to make things run smoothly. For information about booking your own shredding event just fill out our request form and we will contact you. The price is $399 for 2 hours. Shred Bull® Shredding is the friendly secure shredding company

Shredding Events
Community shredding events are something that really do make neighborhoods safer. Once your trash hits the sidewalk, it’s public domain—and you run the risk of identity thieves getting your information and using it against you.

For more information about identity theft, including protecting yourself, click on this Identity Theft Reference Guide Brochure.

Does your city's Free Shredding Event allow you to witness the shredding?

Witnessing the shredding is important, and the best way to ensure that your confidential documents are properly destroyed. This is why privacy laws like HIPAA require that patient information containing documents are shredded while the practice can watch.


Often times community free shredding events are so over crowded that they cut corners and allow shredding companies to collect paper and shred it at some other location. They call this “off site shredding’. This is an unsafe practice.

Shred Bull does not participate in any event that does off site shredding and allows paper to leave the event un-shredded. Many of the city sponsored events allow this ‘off site’ pick up and shred later practice to take place, which is why you will not find Shred Bull participating in those free shredding events.

Any time you hire a shredding company ask if you can watch the shredding take place, if they don’t, find another place to shred your documents.

What can you shred at a shredding event?

You can shred a wide variety of paper documents at a paper shredding event. Here are some examples of the types of documents that are commonly shredded at these events:

  1. Bank statements and cancelled checks
  2. Credit card statements and receipts
  3. Tax documents, such as W-2s and 1099s
  4. Pay stubs
  5. Medical records
  6. Insurance documents
  7. Legal documents
  8. Personal letters and correspondence
  9. Utility bills
  10. Investment statements
  11. Employment records
  12. School transcripts and report cards
  13. Any other documents that contain sensitive or confidential information.

It's important to note that you should not shred certain items, such as batteries, electronics, or hazardous materials, as they can be a fire hazard or cause damage to the shredder. It's always best to check with the event organizers or the shredding company beforehand to determine what types of materials are acceptable for shredding.

What can not be shredded at a paper shredding event?

There are certain items that should not be shredded at a paper shredding event. Here are some examples:

  1. Non-paper items: Paper shredding trucks are designed to shred paper only. Therefore, it's important not to shred any non-paper items, such as credit cards, CDs, DVDs, hard drives, xrays, hanging folders, binder clips, 3 ring binders and other electronics, as these can damage the shredder and pose a safety hazard.  Non-paper items, including plastic, cannot be recycled with paper, as they are different materials and require separate recycling processes. Attempting to recycle plastic with paper can contaminate the paper recycling process and reduce the quality of the recycled paper.
  2. Metal & Hazardous materials: It's not safe to shred materials that are flammable, explosive, or contain hazardous chemicals. Examples of hazardous materials include batteries, aerosol cans, and cleaning products. These materials should be disposed of properly through a hazardous waste disposal program.  Metal and hazardous materials, these items cannot be shredded at a paper shredding event due to the risk of causing damage to the truck's shredder and potentially starting a fire. These materials also cannot be recycled with paper, as they are not paper-based materials.
  3. Wet or damp paper: Wet or damp paper can clog the truck's shredder and cause it to malfunction. Therefore, it's important to ensure that all documents are dry before they are brought to the shredding event.
  4. Carbon paper: Carbon paper cannot be shredded because it contains a layer of ink that can transfer onto other items and make them illegible.
  5. Cardboard: Shredding cardboard can damage the truck's shredder and cause it to jam. Large quantities of cardboard should be recycled through a cardboard recycling program.

It's important to follow the guidelines provided by the event organizers or shredding company regarding what types of materials are acceptable for shredding. Rule of thumb, just paper.  If you have any questions about what can or cannot be shredded, it's always best to ask before bringing your items to the event.

Who hosts shredding events?

  1. Banks and credit unions: Many banks and credit unions host shredding events as a service to their customers.
  2. Local governments: Cities and towns often organize shredding events as part of their recycling and waste reduction programs.
  3. Non-profit organizations: Many non-profit organizations, such as environmental groups and community organizations, organize shredding events as a fundraiser or to promote their cause.
  4. Office supply stores: Some office supply stores, such as Staples and Office Depot, offer shredding services and may host shredding events.
  5. Shredding companies: Shredding companies themselves may host shredding events as a way to promote their services and reach out to potential customers.
  6. Real estate agents: Some real estate agents may host shredding events as a way to provide a value-added service to their clients or to promote their business.
  7. Homeowners associations (HOAs): HOAs may organize shredding events as part of their community outreach or as a service to their members.
  8. Neighborhood associations: Neighborhood associations may organize shredding events as a way to promote community involvement and reduce waste.
  9. Senior centers: Senior centers may host shredding events as a service to their members or to promote their programs.
  10. Chamber of commerce: Chamber of commerce organizations may organize shredding events as a way to promote local businesses and support economic development.
  11. Schools and universities: Schools and universities may host shredding events as part of their sustainability initiatives or to promote environmental awareness among students and staff.