Waste paper at home and office and how to deal with it
by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
We all have some at some stage and some of it is more sensitive then others. So how do you best deal with it.
You may be concerned about identity theft, or the material is otherwise sensitive or you just want to get rid of it without overfilling the trash can.
If you have any paper that is not sensitive and only printed on one side reuse it, as far as you can, by making notepads, notebooks, and such like from those pages.
I remember years ago when many companies that had their own way of printing used to turn waste paper that was printed on one side only into memo- and telephone message pads. Now, with computers and templates this makes even more sense.
Reuse is also my view as to most of the sensitive material which you shred, and that is the answer to reducing the paper stacks in our home and office.
When it comes to shredding the old style ribbon shredders are not very effective with regards to security of destroying sensitive material and therefore my advice is a cross cut shredder, ideally a fine cutting one, and then you can be, more or less, certain that the material cannot – or with great difficulties – be reconstructed.
As I keep hens that shredded paper makes great bedding (litter) for their coop and once they have finished with the stuff it goes into the composter, giving me great compost for the garden.
It kills, as they say, two birds with one stone, though I am keeping the hens out of the firing line of the stones, and no one would want to reconstruct any of the documents after the paper has been in the chicken coop for a week and especially not in the composter.
One could even use this shredded paper, I would like to suggest, for filling the equivalent of straw mattresses if one would be so inclined. In fact I am very tempted to give this a try at some stage.
Obviously, if you have neither animals that could benefit from the shredded paper as bedding or a composter and garden then the shredded paper will have to go into the waste stream, probably to recycling. But check other options before you walk that route.
So, here you have a few suggestions as to what to do with waste paper and how to deal with sensitive paperwork too.