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As more recycling facilities opt to no longer accept shredded paper, recently impacting residents in Wisconsin’s Outagamie, Winnebago and Brown Counties, you might be left with a range of questions. Why isn’t shredded paper being accepted anymore? How am I supposed to dispose of my confidential or sensitive documents? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for details about why this change is happening and how you can keep your sensitive information secure without hoarding mounds of shredded paper.

Recycling shredded paper is a messy business.

When shredded paper enters the recycling process and is combined with other recyclable materials, it ends up everywhere. It’s like spilling glitter on your carpet—you can try your hardest, but you’ll probably never separate all the pieces. Bits of shredded paper get stuck in the sorting machine’s disc screen and baler, clog gears and shafts and because it does not get properly separated, it doesn’t get properly recycled.

Other options for securely discarding your sensitive documents.

Luckily, many people are already finding easy and creative alternatives to ensure they have peace of mind when getting rid of sensitive paper files.

  • Move to online access rather than paper. First, if you’re still receiving paper statements from Verve or other establishments you receive sensitive information from, consider switching to online delivery. For Verve members, this can be done in online banking or by giving us a call at 800.448.9228.
  • Only dispose of the portion that contains confidential information. Most often the confidential portion of a document is only a small section. Separate that section from the rest and recycle the non-confidential portion. You’ll still have to determine your preferred method for getting rid of the sensitive content, but you’ll at least cut down on the amount of paper needing to be discarded.
  • Seek out free shredding services. There’s a good chance that free shredding services are offered throughout your community. A great place to look are office supply stores, including Office Depot, Office Max and FedEx Office. Because they aren’t attempting to recycle a multitude of different product types, it’s more efficient for these businesses to execute this process.
  • Research local disposal events. Many local communities offer shredding or general disposal events. Be sure to check on local community event pages and social media for upcoming events. Keep in mind, these events may have been adapted due to the pandemic.
  • Consider at-home solutions. If you’re looking for an at-home solution, consider burning or pulping your sensitive documents. The dried pulp can be used as mulch for your yard or compost for your garden. Shredded paper can also be added to compost bins without the pulping process.

Verve is always working to ensure your sensitive information is safe and secure—whether it’s from sophisticated internet sleuths or nosey garbage rummagers. If you have questions regarding the best way to discard your sensitive documents or if you need assistance switching to paperless access, call us at 800.448.9228.