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Alternatives to Shredding Important Papers

I know we all need to try to protect our personal info from information theft. But, I've just had it with my 3rd paper shredder. They're noisy, they jam, they take too much energy and time to use and maintain, and the result isn't commercially recyclable. What are some good alternatives to shredding paper?

By nhe from Denton, TX

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June 6, 20100 found this helpful

I've soaked important documents and papers that needed to be destroyed in a sink with a bit of warm water until they fall apart when taken out of the sink. I just keep pulling the soaked papers apart until they are unreadable or the ink runs completely, then ball the pieces into a ball or several small individual balls and dispose of them in the trash.

For credit cards I've used heavy duty scissors, cutting across the numbers and name crosswise several times, then cut those pieces into slivers the opposite way, making sure no full name or numbers are present before disposing of the pieces. Should you throw these into the garbage, it would be a good idea to only throw a few pieces away at a time.

Anything can be burnt in a fire if you are allowed to have a fire where you live.

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June 6, 20100 found this helpful

I have a wood stove. Not as much fun in the summer but a daily ritual in the winter.

Cut up the cards as theroadrunnerla mentioned.

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June 6, 20100 found this helpful

I soak mine also and then pull them to piece after the ink is all unreadable. I soak them with the cardboard I tear up to use less trash bags!

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June 7, 20100 found this helpful

I ask my kids to shred them for me. We have a shredding party. I put them in a box, and let them shred them up and put them in 2 different trash cans. After they are done I just go through to make sure every thing is torn pretty small. They have a blast doing it and I don't spend of my time doing it. They feel proud to have helped me.

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June 8, 20100 found this helpful

I just use a permanent marker to block out name, address and any account or code numbers appearing on sensitive paperwork, rip 'em in quarters and put them into the recycling bin.

Also agree with theroadrunneria on disposal of credit cards.

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June 8, 20100 found this helpful

We accumulate our files and then take huge bag fulls to the Goodwill Store to be shredded. The price is very reasonable plus all your items go into one large sealed container. I asked about 'Security' & was told that there are TV cameras all over the shredding area plus a supervisor who monitors all the shredders.

Also, Office Depot has a shredding system which is done while you wait near the machines. They also are quite reasonable priced.


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June 8, 20100 found this helpful

Handmade paper from bills is a beautiful idea (I have not put in practice yet), just as several folks say they have soaked papers, the next step is to mush it up in a blender and then spread it out to dry into new sheets, adding whatever fun things you like to add to paper.

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June 8, 20100 found this helpful

There are some mail order companies that offer "shredder scissors" -- Miles Kimball is one of them They are scissors that have five blades on each side to use for shredding documents and credit cards. Good luck finding what you want.

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June 9, 20100 found this helpful

I have switched to paperless billing on nearly all bills. I mostly get ads and and junk mail (usually with my name misspelled) and the occasional letter or package. I sort through the mail and deposit most of the junk in the recycle bin on my way back in the house. I just hand shred or mark out sensitive info but there is rarely much anymore.

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June 11, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes I will tear things up really well and put them in the trash with the coffee grounds poured over them and maybe some grease and then throw in a poopy diaper for good measure!

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In This Article
Shredding Confidential Document
Disposing of Important Papers
Consumer Advice General AdviceJune 6, 2010
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