Finding the best document destruction company isn’t as simple as doing an online search. With so many shredding companies to choose from and different methods being used, it’s important to ask the right questions when hiring a provider to securely destroy your documents.

Identity theft and corporate espionage are on the rise so selecting a shredding service is a corner you can’t afford to cut.

To help you make the best decision, here are 10 questions to ask any document destruction provider and why the question is important:
  1. Does your company hold any certifications?
  2. Do you provide on-site or off-site shredding services?
  3. What are your secure chain of custody processes?
  4. Does your business conduct background checks on employees?
  5. Will you provide my business with a Certificate of Destruction?
  6. Do you only shred paper?
  7. Do you recycle all of the paper that is collected?
  8. What shredding options do you offer?
  9. Is your company local?
  10. Are there hidden charges?

1. Does your company hold any certifications? 

Not all shredding companies hold certifications, but the National Information for Destruction (NAID) AAA Certification is the gold standard. Hiring an information destruction service with NAID AAA Certification means that you have the peace of mind that your confidential information is securely handled from pickup to recycling. All shredding companies must follow strict rules, policies and procedures to become and remain a certified member. Blue-Pencil has been NAID AAA Certified since 2007 for all types of media, including paper records, computer hard drives, non-paper media destruction and product destruction.

2. Do you provide on-site or off-site shredding services?

When choosing a shredding company, it’s important to select a provider that destroys your confidential information on your premises. On-site shredding (or mobile shredding) is a safe and convenient destruction method since it is carried out at your facility in a secure shredding truck instead of an off-site plant. With fewer people handling your documents and the ability to watch your materials being shredded, you’ll feel confident that your private information is properly destroyed. At Blue-Pencil, we only do on-site shredding.

3. What are your secure chain of custody processes? 

Chain of custody is the collection of procedures that ensures your data destruction process is secure. When choosing a document shredding business, ask what steps are involved from the time your documents leave your possession to when they are destroyed. With a mobile service, like Blue-Pencil, all documents are shredded inside the truck, ensuring a secure chain of custody. If an issue occurs once the truck departs your facility, your materials can never be restored since they are destroyed into small pieces and mixed with documents from other companies. Plant-based shredding companies have a longer chain of custody with more points of contact, which increases your risk of a security breach.

4. Does your business conduct background checks on employees?

NAID AAA certification requires that document destruction companies complete employee background checks to maintain security throughout the shredding process. Blue-Pencil performs criminal, credit, pre-employment and reference checks on all employees, as well as county-by-county criminal record searches for places employees have lived in the past seven years.

5. Will you provide my business with a Certificate of Destruction?

Before you hire a document shredding company, ask if they provide a Certificate of Destruction. This is a formal document that contains detailed information about the destruction of your materials to prove that the shredding process was completed and to prove compliance with privacy laws. Blue-Pencil provides a Certificate of Destruction upon completion of every shredding service for all paper and media types.

6. Do you only shred paper?

Hiring a reputable business to shred confidential paper documents is vital to keeping your data safe. But this process should also extend to other media types, like hard drives and unneeded goods or products. When you choose a provider like Blue-Pencil, you’ll have the ability to shred all types of media, whether its paper, back-up tapes, optical media, CDs, computer hard drives, recalled products or damaged goods.

7. Do you recycle all of the paper that is collected?

All businesses have a legal and ethical responsibility to keep sensitive information out of the wrong hands. Every company also has a corporate social responsibility to protect the environment. When choosing a provider, be sure to ask if paper materials are recycled after shredding. At Blue-Pencil, all paper materials are recycled into a variety of paper products.

8. What shredding options do you offer?

Your business’ shredding requirements are unique; therefore, you want a shredding service that can custom tailor to your needs. At Blue-Pencil, you have the ability to shred anything from paper to media and products. You can also choose the frequency of your service, whether it’s a one-time engagement, shredding every week or something in between.

9. Is your company local?

When dealing with sensitive information, you want the assurance that you’ve hired a professional shredding provider with exceptional customer service. National destruction companies are backed by a big name, but they may not offer the personalized service of a locally-owned, independent supplier. Since 2004, Blue-Pencil has served clients across Ontario with their paper shredding, records management and scanning needs. Our head office is located in Oakville with service areas across Toronto and the GTA and throughout the province.

10. Are there hidden charges? 

Paper shredding services use different pricing methods and some may have hidden costs. At Blue-Pencil, our quoted price is what you pay. We do not charge additional fees, like fuel surcharges or environmental charges.

Choose the Right Shredding Service for Your Business

Blue-Pencil provides a range of shredding options, whether your company needs regular service on a schedule or a one-time shred. To learn more about our information destruction services, contact us with your questions or to request a free quote.

At this time, we continue to provide our customers with shredding and storage services. Read our COVID-19 Position Statement for complete details.