Protect your identity

While more people switch to paperless life, thanks to advancement of Internet, chances are you still go through a reasonable amount of documents containing sensitive information. This includes your bank statements, financial documents, tax returns, credit applications, receipts, and many others. 

Some people shred such documents diligently, others take their chances and recycle just like any other paper products. 

Personally, I’m a big fan of shredding anything containing my personal information, and I would advise you to do the same for these reasons:

Protect your identity from being stolen

In 2012, about 17 million US citizens over the age of 16 had at least one incident dealing with identity theft. Identity theft can cause financial problems, as criminals can open multiple accounts under your name and rack up charges. While the countermeasures do exist, it’s much easier to fight the problem at the source by shredding all such documents.

Protect your customers

If you own a business or deal with customers’ information at work, you are directly responsible for preventing your customers information falling into the wrong hands. When your customers give you their personal information, including social insurance numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card info, they should be one hundred percent sure this information is safe and secure. If one of your customers runs into problems with identity theft, you might be found liable. There’s also a matter of damage to your reputation and lost business.

There are numerous laws and regulations regarding the protection of your customers’ information. If your customers entrust you with their information, you want to make sure you never compromise that trust.

You’ll save space

While keeping sensitive documents instead of simply throwing them out sounds like a great idea, over the years it might lead to dozens of banker boxes taking up precious space in your basement or your office. Consider freeing up some space by shredding all documents that are no longer necessary. Figure out which papers are safe to destroy and start shredding.


All shredding companies are required by law to recycle the paper after shredding. This makes it a great alternative to burning your documents or simply throwing them into garbage bin. Every metric tonne of paper being recycled saves 7,000 litres of water, saves between 17 and 31 trees, avoids using 4000KWh of energy, and prevents 60 pounds of air borne pollutants from being expelled into the atmosphere.

I’m a bit on the paranoid side, and shred everything that has my personal information.

Here is a list of documents you might want to consider shredding instead of throwing into garbage the garbage:

Tax returns

Photo IDs

Bank and investment statements

Voided and blank checks

Pay stubs

Documents containing your credit card information

Copies of sales receipts

Credit applications

Employment records

Any documents containing your name, address, phone numbers, dates of birth, social insurance number

Were you waiting for a chance to shred your documents? Well, the wait is over!

On Saturday, April 23rd, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? of Okanagan is hosting its Annual eWaste Disposal and Paper Shredding Event. This will be your chance to recycle electronics free of charge and also to shred all your sensitive documents right in front of you. 

Date and time: Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Okanagan College, Kelowna Campus – 1000 KLO Rd. Kelowna, BC

Items accepted:

TVs and accessories

Computers and laptops along with computer peripherals

Kitchen appliances

Cables and batteries

And almost everything else with a power cable

Onsite paper shredding will be available by Okanagan Paper Shredding ($5/banker box)

We’ll also be accepting donations to Kelowna Food Bank. All proceeds will also be donated to KFB.

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About the Author

Yoree Grozenok owns and operates 1-800-GOT-JUNK? in Kelowna, part of world's largest junk removal company. Years of operating this great business has given him wealth of knowledge and experience in recycling.

While other companies think of recycling as a 'nice thing to do', Yoree Grozenok built his business with recycling in mind from the very beginning. Not only is every effort made to recycle obvious items like scrap metal or cardboard, but the goal is set to recycle up to 80% of items picked up. They also recycle through donating items to charities or Kelowna Food Bank. All recycling efforts are tracked and publicly available for greater accountability.

Yoree Grozenok also started an annual eWaste recycling event that takes place each April in an effort to divert electronic waste going to the landfill. This drive give residents a chance to recycle their televisions, computers, and other electronic junk.

1-800-GOT-JUNK? was nominated for Green Business award through SIFE Okanagan.

Contact: [email protected]

Website: www.1800gotjunk.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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