Top Tips for Confidential Waste Disposal

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Posted by Keith Hirst on 28 March 2019

Businesses produce a large amount of paper wastage yearly, despite the ever-increasing use of and dependance on the internet. Without proper disposal, sensitive information about your business or employees could fall into the wrong hands. Businesses have mostly opted towards using a shredder to destroy old documents, however there is a growing problem of people re-assembling these documents to uncover any valuable information that they may contain. This problem has been highlighted in recent times, as even documents the White House try to destroy, are being taped back together, affirming the fact that shredders no longer make the cut in this technologically advanced world.


The Data Protection Act of 1998 states that all information being handled by businesses must be lawfully processed and then destroyed when it becomes obsolete or illegal to keep them any longer. By being able to identify confidential documents and content, you will be able to fully dispose of them properly to ensure you to not break the law. We can help you dispose of your confidential documents correctly, whether it be on a domestic or commercial level.

What types of information is confidential?

Confidential information can generally include:

  • Any financial information
  • Customer or partnership details
  • HR documents – for example, job applications, payslips, contracts etc.
  • Signatures
  • Any information on your companies operations
  • Legal information

This does not only include paper documents as now this highly confidential information is also kept on CDs, computers, and other electronic devices. Each individual type of document must be disposed of accordingly.



How can I dispose of confidential waste?

As mentioned earlier, shredding paper documents has become a risky form of confidential waste disposal, so we recommend:

  • Cross cutter shredder – This type of shredder cuts the paper vertically and horizontally, making it especially difficult – if not impossible – to reassemble documents disposed of this way. You can get different types of cross cutter shredders, some cut the paper into confetti sized pieces of paper, and others cut it into a near dust-like form.
  • Burning – Assuming that it is safe to do so and is in line with local fire safety regulations, completely burning your confidential documents will ensure it is unrecoverable to anyone who wishes to restore it. However, you must confirm the document is completely burnt.
  • Soaking – A cheap and easy option, soaking your confidential documents in water will make the paper soggy thereby causing them to disintegrate easily. These pieces of paper will then stick together causing the writing to be unreadable – even when dried.


If you need only certain parts of a document removing, you could try using:

  • Redacting pens – Special ink which makes it impossible for anyone to remove or read through.
  • Anti-tamper stickers – Stickers which when removed, rip the paper instead of revealing any confidential information.
  • Hole punch – Punch away any information required and destroy the removed pieces.


Electronic devices now hold a massive amount of data, the majority of which is confidential information which needs removing off the device then disposing of responsibly. Here are our recommendations on disposing of this information on various devices:

  • CDs – The information must first be deleted off the CD using your computer, then must be scratched or sanded and cut up into pieces before using our services to dispose of the waste responsibly.
  • USBs – Delete all data off the USB before using an object, such as a hammer, to safely destroy the USB stick completely (remember to wear goggles!).
  • Computer hard drives – Hard drives must be wiped, ideally by using special software to ensure it it properly wiped. It must then be industrially shredded to ensure proper destruction.


At Thompson Skip Fuels & Skip Hire, our team of experts can help you make sure you dispose of your confidential waste correctly and efficiently. We provide our services in Doncaster area, on a commercial and domestic level. For more information, contact our friendly team today!

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