On Friday August 7, University Facilities and Services sponsored its tenth annual Shred Fest, in which University members were able to bring their personal documents to be securely shredded and recycled free of charge. Shred Fest is held in collaboration with Iron Mountain, the same company trusted by the University to securely recycle its own confidential records.
Why is Shred Fest important? People often opt to dispose of their personal documents directly into the trash in order to protect their privacy and minimize the risk of identity theft. Unfortunately, this results in the disposal of large quantities of paper in landfills that could be recycled. Shred Fest offers a solution to protect personal identity and the environment. A camera inside the truck even allows participants to watch the shredding process happen live if they chose to do so.
How does the event run so efficiently? Participants do not need to get out of their vehicles when they drop of papers to Shred Fest. They drive up and are greeted by volunteers who help unload their documents into lockable containers. The containers are then loaded into the Iron Mountain shred truck where they are securely shredded. A limit of five boxes/bags per customer helps keep the line moving quickly and ensures that the shred truck can keep up with the material as it comes in.
What safety precautions were taken this year in light of the pandemic? For starters, masks were required to be worn by all volunteers and customers. Volunteers completed a health screening, maintained social distancing, and wore gloves throughout the day. The drive-through set-up of this event naturally helps to minimize contact.
What was the result? A grand total of 19,580 pounds (9.79) tons of paper was collected, which out-weighed last year’s event by 3,680 pounds! By mid-morning a total of 7,000 pounds was collected and an additional 12,580 pounds was collected by the event’s end.
Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie says lifestyle changes due to the pandemic were responsible for the increase in material collected as well as for a change in traffic flow. “So many people have been cleaning out at home during this time of social distance,” states Kadrie, “and also had the flexibility to attend the event throughout the day because of work schedule changes.” Kadrie is referring to the fact that the event typically sees an early morning rush with most attendants dropping off their materials on their way to report to work. But this year with many University employees working remotely, the traffic flow was steadier throughout the day. Kadrie also speaks of the appreciation of participants as well as her own gratitude to all involved, “So many people driving through tell us how much they appreciate the event and it really feels good to hear. I continue to be pleased by the outcome of our events and was glad we could hold Shred Fest this year with some additional precautions. All of our event volunteers worked hard and remained in great spirits. I cannot thank them enough!”
The success of Shred Fest was made possible by the volunteers who worked at the event, Iron Mountain, and everyone who came to recycle their documents. The event staff pictured above from left to right include; Axel Colon (Materials Management), Helena Chamberlain (Support Operations), Ben Beback (River Campus Facilities Operations), Mike Dodge (Medical Center Facilities Operations), Patrick Hamilton (Iron Mountain), Amy Kadrie (Support Operations), Ulysses Homes (Medical Center Facilities Operations), Sherin George (Support Operations), Michael Hendricks (Facilities Customer Service Center) and Kim VanOrman (Facilities Customer Service Center). Not pictured but also part of the crew was Jefvern White (Support Operations) and Jon Marini (Mail Services). For more pictures of the event, visit the UR Sustainable Facebook album here. Be sure to follow this page for details on upcoming events and sustainability related projects at the University.