How to Host a Community Paper Shredding Event

Paper shredding, that general housekeeping step so many of us take for granted, can actually bring havoc to your door. Just consider how security experts often cite dumpster-diving as a major contributing factor in ID theft cases. 

Crooks know so many individuals throw out documents without thinking it could happen to them. They take advantage of this to seize on information that can help them rip off their targets. 

A special shredding event can help put a stop to it. First, however, you’ll need to convince the people who most need to hear it. 

Establish Why Paper Shredding Is Important

Your first step in building support for a paper shredding event is to get your community on board. Not everyone will see the value in this right away, so you’ll need to make a compelling case to get everyone that you can out to it. Here are some tips. 

Protect Financial Information

Part of making this a widely-embraced community event is to show the impact it can have on your community from a crime-reduction standpoint. There will be more on that in a moment from a general standpoint, but let’s now talk about the elephant in the room: financial data security.

Your bills, bank statements, and receipts can offer clues that make it easier for criminals to steal financial data. And according to the Federal Trade Commission, they’re successfully targeting millions each year.


Another good motivator for a recycling event is to bring awareness to the privacy that an individual is giving up whenever their documents fall into the wrong hands. Obviously, financial attacks can do the most immediate harm, but personal information such as healthcare records can leave a person vulnerable in a variety of other ways. 

Deter Criminal Activity

Holding on to physical records can make you a target for all manner of crimes, from identity theft to breaking-and-enterings. Getting rid of your sensitive documents in such a definitive fashion ultimately deters criminal activity.

That’s because most criminals are looking for the easiest targets they can find. Create a “nothing to see here” environment by ridding yourself of extra paperwork, and you’ll have that much less to attract the wrong people.

After establishing “the why” for your event, it’s time to coordinate. Here are eight tips to help. 

1. Secure Your Location

You’ll need a location that is capable of efficiently managing the number of people you expect. Send out invites ahead of time to the people you will absolutely want to be there. We’ll discuss the best participants to initially target are in a moment.

As you work through your ideal “guest list,” you should get a sense of how many are likely to show up. This should help you establish the right venue and get the ball rolling on scheduling your event.

2. Get Set Up

This is when you’ll want to reach out to any property managers or organizations about booking. You’ll also need to start planning for things like duration, equipment involved, and any special setup considerations or coordinative actions, all of which can be made easier by working with a shredding service

3. Contact Area Businesses

The easiest way to get started isn’t social media. Definitely keep your options open there, but go analog when building some word-of-mouth. Reach out to business owners instead.

Business owners have to hold on to many years worth of documents at a time. After a while, it can build up into a pretty incredible backlog. They will welcome the opportunity to dispose of these materials quickly and effectively.

Additionally, there are the employees of the business as well as the customers they serve. They will participate in the event themselves, maybe even volunteer, and help spread the word to the rest of the community through their outreach platforms.

4. Establish Social Media Presence 

If you did No. 3, then you’ve got some momentum for your event. Now it’s time to set up an event, invite the people on your Friends List, and link up with the other businesses in your area that will be supporting the event. You should also create a page for the event. It will serve you well for the immediate year and any subsequent events that you plan to host.

5. Give Yourself Enough Lead Time 

Setting up your event will take a great deal of coordination. It can be easy to lose sight of the ticking clock as you go. That’s why you need to become an incessant planner. 

Make sure you’re making time for all the moving parts, especially as far as spreading the word is concerned. Check on those who are supposed to be helping you regularly to make sure they’re doing as they promised. 

Ensure advertisements run on time and that they don’t interfere with any other major events in town that are likely to eclipse what you’re trying to do. (For example, scheduling the event at the same date and time as your town’s Christmas parade would likely affect turnout in a negative way.) 

6. Contact Traditional Media Outlets

Social media has become the “go-to” for spreading the word about events due to its accessibility and affordability. But don’t overlook traditional media outlets when it comes to reaching an engaged audience.

You can do it for free if you find a newsworthy angle. Consider sharing some statistics regarding identity theft and other crimes associated with information “dumpster-diving.” You might also push that your efforts are going toward environmentally noble causes like, instead of disposing of paper, recycling paper. 

Media outlets will be more likely to cover your event for free if you help them see why the community should care. Try it out!

7. Make It Fun

Turn the event into a celebration of sorts. Provide treats, refreshments, and door prizes, if you can. That promises something more than a simple shredding event. It makes people feel more at ease with the stress that can go along with records disposal. 

8. Look Ahead

Finally, look to the year ahead. Learn from what worked and what didn’t to make the next event even better and more embraced by the community.

Before long, business owners and individuals alike will look forward to getting rid of those old documents. And you’ll be the one they thank!

Shredding Does Your Community A Service

Your paper shredding can do so many businesses and individuals in your community a service. It does so by making them more conscious of their own vulnerabilities. 

Think your community could benefit from it but need help finding your way? Contact Atlantic Shredding & Destruction Services to get the support you need today.

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