Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Head to Head: In-House vs. Outsourced Paper Shredding

VS versus lettersEvery business has document retention requirements. What happens to your documents when they reach the end of their retention lifecycle? Is your final disposition solution secure? In this blog, we compare in-house and outsourced paper shredding.

Privacy and Security

You’re responsible for maintaining the privacy of customer and employee records throughout retention and during final disposition. Unfortunately, in-house shredding poses several security risks. Office paper shredders are unreliable and slow, which often results in sensitive documents being tossed into a trash can or recycling bin instead of being shredded. And even when an office shredder is used, bags of shredded documents are discarded into a dumpster, where identity thieves and competitors can steal them.

Outsourced paper shredding offers a closed-loop privacy protection solution. Your shredding provider brings secure collection containers to your facility and places them in high-traffic areas. This allows sensitive documents to be discarded easily and securely. Based on your customized document destruction schedule, the contents of the containers are collected within an unbroken chain of custody by a trained, uniformed, background-screened professional for direct, secure transfer to a shredding plant.


In-house shredding is inefficient. Staples and paperclips must be removed from documents before they’re hand-fed into an office shredder. If your shredder jams, even more time is lost to unclogging the shredding blades. Then the shredding receptacle needs emptying. As a result, shredding even one file can take several minutes.

Outsourced paper shredding saves you time. You can deposit your documents into collection containers in a second, dropping them right in without having to remove staples and paperclips. And pesky paper jams are a thing of the past.


State and federal privacy laws require proof of secure disposal of personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). With an in-house shredding program, it’s impossible to verify whether your employees are destroying PII and PHI. And without a shredding audit trail, your organization may face non-compliance fines and penalties.

A paper shredding service ensures your company complies with privacy protection regulations. At the end of every destruction project, your provider issues a Certificate of Destruction that documents your company’s compliance with information destruction laws.

As you can see from our head-to-head comparison, outsourced paper shredding comes out on top as a reliable, secure and regulatory-compliant document destruction solution.

The Data Vault offers shredding services to businesses in Kentucky and southern Indiana.


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