"Do It Yourself Shredding"

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If you’re a business professional who thinks that “feeding the office shredder” is a cost effective way to protect your clients, customers or patients from identity theft and the unauthorized disclosure of private information…then I’d like to challenge you to calculate your own costs, to see just how much money “do it yourself shredding” is costing you.

An Office Shredder Costs A Lot More Than You’d Think

To illustrate, let’s take a look at a typical small business office. As soon as information destruction laws went into effect they purchased a modestly priced personal shredder (Fellowes Power Shred SB-97C) for $185. The chart below shows how much it cost this small business to operate their office shredder.

Office Shredder Cost Analysis
Number of employees 5
* Shred time (minutes) per day for each employee 3
Total Daily Shred Time (Minutes)
Average hourly wage (including benefits) $16.19
Total daily shred time (Hours) 0.25
Number of work days per month 21.67
Number of hours per month employees shred 5.42
Total Monthly Labor Cost To Shred
Purchase price of Fellowes Power Shred SB-97C $185
Life expectancy of shredder (Number of months) 36
Monthly depreciation cost $5.14
Monthly maintenance cost $4.73
Total Monthly Equipment Cost
Total labor cost $87.71
Total equipment cost $9.87
Total Monthly Cost of Office Shredder
* Includes time to walk from and back to work station, pick up paper, remove staples and paper clips, straighten pages, feed shredder, clean up and dispose shredded paper

A Typical Small Business Office Will Spend $97.58 a Month
In our example, there are five employees that use the office shredder during the course of a day, each averaging about three minutes of daily shred time or 15 minutes total per day for the entire office. (Remember shred time is not just the amount of time the shredding machine manufacture claims it takes to shred paper. One must also include the time to sort the documents, walk from the work area to the shredder, pick up and straighten the paper, feed the paper into the shredder and clean up any paper residue and when necessary, dispose of the shredded paper.)

Since the average hourly wage of their employees, plus benefits is $16.19. The total monthly labor cost to operate an office shredder is $87.71. Factor in depreciation and maintenance costs (shredding blades must be sharpened) the total cost of operating their office shredder is $97.58 per month.

How Much Is The Office Shredder Costing You?
Now your costs will be different based upon how much you shred, your average hourly wage, initial cost of the shredder, etc. But the fact is that using an office shredder costs twice as much as a monthly pickup by a shredding service…and saving money isn’t even the best reason to use a shredding service.