Many people think they can save a few bucks on a shredding service and just buy a shredder. First you must put aside the increased security risks that result because your office staff is more likely to throw the documents into the trash than take the time to shred it. Just ask The Room Store, Baylor, or Macy's if you can trust your employees to assign themselves extra work.
Also ignore the fact that a well run shredding program requires careful documentation for HIPAA and FACTA compliance. That can only be achieved if the shredding audited by a manager or third party.
Now that we are ignoring the security risks lets get to the actual costs of buying a shredder and doing the work in-house. A small office will generateat least ten to fifteen file boxes worth of records a year that need to be shredded.
The most basic cost is the shredder itself. A “medium” duty shredder at Staples is the Fellowes Powershred SB-87Cs costing $199. It is rated for 15 sheets at a time and 50 passes per day. Assuming it will last two years we will only charge $100 per year for the equipment. Keep ingnoring that it is slow and most people will get frustrated and jam too many sheets in causing it to freeze and die long before the two years end.
Lets disregaurd the cost of maintenance because the oil is messy and it just makes our calculation harder.
The next thing to look at is labor. We will assume that you are using administrative staff that makes a modest $12 per hour or $15 with benefits. Using our shredder the 10 boxes or 50,000 sheets of paper will take 3,333 passes with our shredder. If you could stuff it in as fast as possible that then you might get down to 20 seconds per pass or 18 hours and thirty minutes a year. At our $15 that is $277 in labor costs.
So this small office with only ten boxes of documents has already spent $377 on shredding. A shredding service uses a shredder that does 5,000 pounds an hour and would have charged less than $100. So this little office overspent by $277. The also recycled the bits of paper.
Now imagine if your office isn't so small how much you could save.