Answered: What is the proper paper fragment size for shredded documents?

Sometimes in the document shredding business, certain questions come up — good questions that need to be answered. One of those inquiries is about how small the documents should be shredded.

There is no standard

The answer is, other than those set forth for governmental classified documents, there is no real standard. Government-approved high-security shredders, created for destroying top secret and classified documents, render an 8.5” x 11” sheet to 15,000 particles.

While impressive, this kind of destruction is rarely needed for business use, especially in the case of mobile shredding. Why? Because not only is compliance with such standards expensive and unnecessary, there are some other reasons — unique to mobile shredding.

Other points to think of when considering mobile shredding

First, regulations for document security only require confidential information to be destroyed to make it reasonably inaccessible and not able to be reconstructed.

With mobile shredding units, while each page may not be transformed into 15,000 pieces of paper, whatever is shredded is mixed with shredded material from other clients, resulting in the documents being “reasonably inaccessible” and irretrievable.

Second, government regulations on shredding specifications assume the shredded materials are not protected or controlled after the documents are destroyed. 

Mobile shredding units, however, maintain control of all shredded materials until they are brought to a facility where they are combined and mixed with even more destroyed papers from other sources, and then baled and recycled, rendered these documents utterly unusable for purposes of data collection.

Furthermore, if a mobile document destruction service provider is NAID AAA Certified, as part of that certification the service provider is required to exhibit secure handling and control of the material after it is destroyed.

Summing Up

Considering the points above, for most organizations, the government standard for particle size for shredded documents is unnecessary and irrelevant — and grossly expensive, potentially costing more as much as 10 times the cost of a standard mobile shredding service.

Additionally, as RK Black Shredding is NAID AAA Certified, you can be sure your shredded documents are safe once placed in our custody and shredded at your location as you witness. Plus, as your documents will eventually be recycled into other paper products, you can be confident your information will be destroyed to pulp and fiber. You can’t really get any smaller than that. 

If you would like any information on document shredding or our mobile shredding services, let us know. Click the red button below, fill out the form and send. We'll get right back to you! We're glad to help in any way we can.

About R.K. Black, Inc.

R.K. Black, Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based, family-owned leading provider of office technology solutions to businesses in Oklahoma and Kansas. We specialize in everything business technology from copier, fax, printer and scanner technology to document management, onsite paper shredding services, VoIP phone systems and managed IT support to video surveillance solutions.

If you want to learn more about us, feel free to explore the website, read our other blogs or click the button below to be contacted by one of our reps and tell you! Also, be sure to keep watching our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter for more business tips from our blog.