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Shredding papers

Chris Farrell Oct 1, 2009

Question: I have the option of putting my shredded documents in plastic bags out with the recycling. Is that safe? Or is it better to throw it in the garbage? Michelle, Vermillion, SD

Answer: Well, I’m glad you shred your documents. It’s a good habit to get into in an era when identity theft is all too common. For peace of mind, the first thing I would do is make sure that your shredder is a “cross-cut” shredder rather than a “strip-cut” shredder. The former cuts up the paper into smaller pieces and, according to the experts, makes it that much harder for anyone to put the paper back together. I would then recycle the paper. Depending on your level of concern, you could also consider a shredding service. It isn’t expensive, and these companies then send the shredded paper to a mill to be recycled.

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