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How do I securely dispose of personal papers in Canberra?

By mtrax - 9 October 2012 20

If I have a few boxes of old bank statements , tax and other financial documents is there a recommended way to dispose of these papers , I have a shredder but it is painfully slow and needs to cool down after a few dozen pages so a couple of boxes is going to take a while.

Any better ideas?

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How do I securely dispose of personal papers in Canberra?
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2busy 3:45 pm 13 Jan 16

I know this is more than 3 years after this discussion but I am new to the topic and interested in it.
I am even experimenting with feeding paper to a recently contained group of snails, seeing as they munch on my mail in the letter box some times.
Does anyone know the dioxin story with mulching bleached paper and whatever is in the ink of various documents? Is there any risk of dioxins from recycled paper, whether it is passaged through worms, chooks or snails or just mulched into the compost, being then taken up, even concentrated, in the fruit, veges or eggs that are subsequently grown on it?
My snails are starting to make papery poo. I am curious about the safety of it for my garden.
I have only found references to the subject on google relating to burning paper, which says that high temperature burning is necessary to reduce dioxin production in the smoke, so backyard burning might be a no-no. I don’t know what volumes would be considered significant.
Any scientists out there?

pirate_taco 11:54 am 10 Oct 12

bigred said :

Go out to Costco and buy a proper sized cross cut shredder. About $120 from memory. Shred papers and use to line your chook pen (or give to friends for their chook pen).

After a reasonable period, rake up debris and throw in compost heap along with shredded leaves etc. Add garden lime. resultant material is great for vegie patch.

I’ve considered shredding papers and then using the material in my chicken coop then composting as a good option for securely destroying old documents, and I’m glad someone else has had the same idea, but I don’t have a shredder and don’t really want to buy one.

Stuart’s idea of using a mower as a makeshift mulcher is great. and I’ve already got an electric mulcher for tree clippings that would probably work a bit better than a mower, then combine with using the shredded material in the chicken coop idea above, and I think I have an idea of what to do with the pile of old documents I’ve been meaning to do something about too.

Hooray for freely sharing ideas and building on them to find a solution that works best for your own situation, unlike the current situation with IP laws stifling creativity and innovation.

Glen Takkenberg
Pirate Party ACT for Ginninderra

molongloid 11:39 am 10 Oct 12

SITA at Hume do a red wheelie bin for $85-ish. They drop off and pick up. Or you can go there with whatever boxes you have and get to see them destroyed.

Holditz 9:35 am 10 Oct 12

Stick your documents into a lingerie laundry bag. Put the bag into a washing machine (sans clothes) and run a full washing cycle. (Make sure though that you reduce the water levels, to save water.) Your documents will become pulped and unreadable.

Note that I haven’t tried this, so experiment with a small amount of clean paper first to make sure the bag you use retains all the paper scraps. There are special bags you can purchase to assist with this, but a lingerie or delicate clothes laundry bag, the finer the mesh the better, should be a cheaper alternative.

bigred 8:50 pm 09 Oct 12

Go out to Costco and buy a proper sized cross cut shredder. About $120 from memory. Shred papers and use to line your chook pen (or give to friends for their chook pen). After a reasonable period, rake up debris and throw in compost heap along with shredded leaves etc. Add garden lime. resultant material is great for vegie patch.

basketofcat 8:08 pm 09 Oct 12

johnboy said :

Katy? Is that you?

Mail the documents to the ACT Health department and then submit an FOI request to get them back.

c_c 4:22 pm 09 Oct 12

cubicle01 said :

johnboy said :

Katy? Is that you?

Gold.

On topic.
Most offices have secure paper disposal bins. If not your workplace then perhaps a trusted friends.

haha, yes, I recall on more than one occasion the contents of those secure bins ending up unsecured in land fill.

Pirate_Biggles said :

Note, for plastic items, e.g. old credit cards – use scissors to cut the magnetic strip in half, cut the card into 3mm slivers (ensure the chip is cut as well).

Have to do more than that now, cards are now fitted with NFC chips, and for quite some time have had the contact chips too. I find a triple diagonal pattern works best. Cut the card in 1cm diagonals one way, then line those up and rotate 90 degrees, and repeat and so on. Then separate them into 5 different loads of rubbish.

Probably overkill but the banks have been very quiet about the risk of data theft from NFC cards while in your pocket, much less if they end up in a bin.

PM 4:15 pm 09 Oct 12

Fire bucket!

astrojax 4:07 pm 09 Oct 12

…or eat them?

Kim F 3:46 pm 09 Oct 12

Our Wood Fired Pizza Oven does a wonderful job!

Girt_Hindrance 3:32 pm 09 Oct 12

Pirate_Biggles said :

I use an amazingly cheap way of disposing of paper records.
Instead of buying a purpose built shredder, I have found the lawnmower to be incredibly effective.
My method is thus:
1. Empty documents onto back lawn
2. Run mower over documents
3. Rake up shreds
4. Put shreds into black garbage bag/plastic bin
5. Add water
6.Stir and let sit for an hour
7. Pour resulting mush into compost bin.
8. Stir

This turns boxes of sensitive documents into a mass of pulp that the garden absolutely loves.

Note, for plastic items, e.g. old credit cards – use scissors to cut the magnetic strip in half, cut the card into 3mm slivers (ensure the chip is cut as well). throw half the slivers out, and retain the other half for a few months, and dispose of those in a different bin/method.
This is how I was taught to destroy cards when I worked as a teller.

Note: if you need certified destruction, there are service providers that will do this for you.

^This. Brilliant. Cheers for the idea.

Sammy 3:31 pm 09 Oct 12

The fire method is interesting, but its messy and smoky.

The Shredlock method looks interesting.

Overheard 3:28 pm 09 Oct 12

Probably might make the fireys clench, but yeah, I always find a match and an old metal garbage bin does the trick. Though last time I tried that approach, I literally did have to sift through the ashes to make sure it was all dead and illegible.

ummmm_no 3:18 pm 09 Oct 12

These guys will come to you:

http://www.shredlock.com.au

Last time I used them (a couple of months back) it was $88 for a large bin’s worth.

Pirate_Biggles 3:17 pm 09 Oct 12

I use an amazingly cheap way of disposing of paper records.
Instead of buying a purpose built shredder, I have found the lawnmower to be incredibly effective.
My method is thus:
1. Empty documents onto back lawn
2. Run mower over documents
3. Rake up shreds
4. Put shreds into black garbage bag/plastic bin
5. Add water
6.Stir and let sit for an hour
7. Pour resulting mush into compost bin.
8. Stir

This turns boxes of sensitive documents into a mass of pulp that the garden absolutely loves.

Note, for plastic items, e.g. old credit cards – use scissors to cut the magnetic strip in half, cut the card into 3mm slivers (ensure the chip is cut as well). throw half the slivers out, and retain the other half for a few months, and dispose of those in a different bin/method.
This is how I was taught to destroy cards when I worked as a teller.

Note: if you need certified destruction, there are service providers that will do this for you.

Alderney 3:00 pm 09 Oct 12

Buy a shredder and once shredded put them in your compost bin.

After you’ve tipped a few days tea leaves, onions, oranges, eggs etc over them no one will be able to piece them back together.

And your garden will love you for it.

Henry82 2:41 pm 09 Oct 12

– fire
– take them into work and use a bigger shredder
– find a secure paper bin (hint university/work)
– there are services available where you can buy secure bags for a one off fee and someone removes, shreds and recycles the contents securely.

cubicle01 2:40 pm 09 Oct 12

johnboy said :

Katy? Is that you?

Gold.

On topic.
Most offices have secure paper disposal bins. If not your workplace then perhaps a trusted friends.

NoAddedMSG 2:39 pm 09 Oct 12

Fire.

johnboy 2:37 pm 09 Oct 12

Katy? Is that you?

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