On Friday, July 23, University Facilities and Services sponsored its eleventh annual Shred Fest, during which University members were able to bring their documents to be securely shredded and recycled free of charge. The event is held in collaboration with Iron Mountain, the same company that provides secure document destruction services for the University.
Why is Shred Fest important? People often opt to dispose of their documents directly into the trash rather than the recycling bin 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.
Event participant Lisa Fedele expressed, “I love when you do this. Paper accumulates so much. I’m bringing you papers from my mother, she saves everything. But I feel safe bringing it here.”
How does the event run so efficiently?
A decade of experience has made the event process seamless. Once participants drive up, they are greeted by eager volunteers who help unload their documents into lockable 65-gallon containers. The containers are then loaded into the on-site Iron Mountain truck where they are securely shredded. All shredded paper is then recycled. A five boxes/bags limit per customer keeps the line moving quickly and ensures that the shred truck can keep up with the material as it comes in.
What was the result? A total of 15,800 pounds (7.9) tons of paper was collected, which is heavier than the average weight of an African elephant, the largest land mammal, which weighs about 6 tons. By the time the truck filled up mid-morning, 9,640 pounds was already collected.
The Shred Fest first began in 2011 and has been increasing in popularity ever since. Combined with previous years’ collections, a total of 200,260 pounds (100tons) of paper have been recycled through the Shred Fest!
The success of this event was made possible by the many volunteers who worked at Shred Fest, Iron Mountain, and everyone who came to recycle their documents. Event volunteers included Sherin George (Support Operations), Helena Chamberlain (Support Operations), Zein Tynon (Facilities Team Green Intern), Kim VanOrman (Facilities Customer Service Center), Mike Hendricks (Facilities Customer Service Center), Anna Myakushina (Sustainability Intern), Celia Konowe (Sustainability Intern), Jason Miner (Horticulture & Grounds), and Larry Steele (Horticulture & Grounds). The Transportation and Parking department graciously helped put up signage and blocked off the event area. Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie who leads the event thanks all of the volunteers, supporters, and participants of the event, and sends an extra thank you to Patrick Hamilton of Iron Mountain who has worked with her for all of the Shred Fest events held.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022
Photo Credits: Zein Tynon, Class of 2024