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Old 01-13-2014, 09:10 PM   #21
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I collect the papers that need shredding in a bag or box and go to the free shred events every few months. The lightweight shredder I have would not hold up to the amount of stuff that would need to go through it. The other problem with papers shredded at home is what to do with the confetti that results. It doesn't work to just dump it in the recycle bin because the tiny pieces will fly all over the place when the trash company comes by and dumps it into their truck.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:24 PM   #22
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I bought a nice shredder a few years ago and shred my own.

However, there are companies listed in the yellow pages, that shred documents for businesses. I have known people who took a couple of boxes of personal documents over to a company that does this, and had them shredded for much less than the cost of a shredder.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:40 PM   #23
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I bought a nice shredder a few years ago and shred my own.

However, there are companies listed in the yellow pages, that shred documents for businesses. I have known people who took a couple of boxes of personal documents over to a company that does this, and had them shredded for much less than the cost of a shredder.
I had 6 small moving boxes of old bank statements, taxes going back to 1978 (seriously), and other assorted paperwork that needed to be shredded. I looked and found a company that brings the shred truck to your door. I was able to watch it as it went through the process.
$65 to shred all that stuff - definitely worth it.

I have now gone paperless and have much less need to shred. I should still probably get a small shredder. Maybe the type that fits on top of any wastebasket would be good since those take up about zero space.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:49 PM   #24
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I recently bought a shredder after many years of using the fireplace. I find it easier since I really don't use my fireplace.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:37 PM   #25
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I have a shredder but need a new, more powerful one.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:56 PM   #26
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I am definitely in the burn it camp: Back yard fire pit and occasional camping trips get the job done, just be sure to stir to make sure everything burns if you dump a bunch on at one time.
+1
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:19 AM   #27
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We are on cross-cut shredder #2. The amount to shred isn't an issue if we keep up with it. We don't have a "to shred" box sitting around.

The first c-c shredder was a Fellowes, it lasted a bunch of years, then had a skipping problem. I took it apart far enough to see the problem - they had a small worm gear integral with the motor shaft, which drove a large helical-toothed nylon gear as the largest speed-reduction in the gear train. The forces that steel gear exerted on such a small part of a nylon gear eventually chunked teeth out of the nylon. It now holds up a park somewhere.

We bought a no-name c-c shredder replacement, and it's been going many years now with no problem, and this one loves credit cards too.

We don't put anything in recycling or garbage with our name, address, etc. on it. We also shred any wealth-looking things, like mutual fund company mailers, etc. We shred the whole thing, not just our name and address on the front. Oh yeah, we shred all the gazillion credit card offers with our names in them on multiple pages. I did the no-credit card offer thing about 6 mos, ago, have not seen any decline in "offers" yet.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:03 AM   #28
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We had accumulated many boxes of various docs that needed shredding before we moved and downsized. I quickly got tired of feeding our personal shredder and took all the boxes to a shredding service and was able to witness the destruction. In the future, I will just accumulate a few boxes and go back to the shredding service.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:33 AM   #29
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I am definitely in the burn it camp: Back yard fire pit and occasional camping trips get the job done, just be sure to stir to make sure everything burns if you dump a bunch on at one time.
+1

We have fire pits at the beach. I've had two bonfires now in the past year when needing to purge large amounts of documents. Keeps me warm, and fun too.

As for the shredder, I just bought one of those too. My first one burnt out, as others have experienced. What I've learned from my experiences is that the cheaper shredders tend to burn out fairly quickly, especially when you run large amounts of documents through them. So if you are going to buy a relatively inexpensive one, use another method to get rid of the large backlog of files you have, and then start using the shredder on a regular basis to shred the small stuff as it comes in.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:39 AM   #30
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I have a low cost shredder that has lasted for years. If it gets warm it just shuts off automatically. I have it near my computer.

When I get tired or bored, it's time for a little shredding.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:02 AM   #31
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I have an older shredder. Recently we've been using what comes out in our fireplace. We add a log or two, and toss in the unopened mail throughout the evening. Really makes for a nice time.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:10 PM   #32
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We have a shredder but do not use it very often. We do not throw any bills, invoices, anything with account numbers, social insurance numbers etc. out. We have a box that we fill and take the annual auto club shred event.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:47 AM   #33
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I have an old, but adequate cross cut shredder. I compost the remains.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:33 PM   #34
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Navy Federal Credit Union runs an event about twice per year called Navy Shrederal Day. They hire a big commercial shredder truck and you can watch your stuff get shredded. There is a limit but a copy paper box full should not be a problem ( or bring a friend. It is open to non-members. Last year it was in June and October

https://www.navyfederal.org/events/n...ederal-day.php
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #35
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I've heard of people just putting their sensitive papers in a black plastic bag along with their baby's poopy/wet disposable diapers. After a few hours outside in the summer they were pretty sure anybody opening the bag would quickly move on to other options.
Single pass shredder into a brown paper sack and then depositing the nasty stuff from cleaning out the cat's litter box works too .

I mean, does anybody really care that much what I pay for newspaper, internet service, or what fantastic spam offers I got for credit cards?
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:51 PM   #36
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I've had a shredder for many years, upgraded to a cross cut shredder that also takes old credit cards well over 5 years ago. However, I hardly use it these days. All statements and bills come electronically and hardly any CC solicitations. The big effort to get rid of paper prior to ER has been well worth it.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:16 PM   #37
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Thanks for all the ideas and perspectives. On investigation, I have learned that despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., mine does not offer shredding services - the person on the other end of the phone sounded like she was laughing, although I couldn't be sure.

There are two local places that accept paper for shredding, but not while you wait - they sounded shocked that I would expect such a thing. They are far too busy for that! The paper is stored "until the shredder truck comes." The shredder truck does not come to your door. Somebody at one of these places suggested I call the UPS Store, which was also a strike-out.

So, I am down to a) burning in the fireplace (seems like a tall order), b) buying a shredder and spending my first year of retirement carefully feeding pages into it bit by bit so as not to burn it out, c) visiting an ER Forum member whose community offers shredding services.

In addition, Alan's electronic solution sounds sensible, although mutual fund and CC companies don't store statements on line very far back. I guess I need to save e-statements to a hard drive.

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Old 01-15-2014, 05:41 PM   #38
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I collect the papers that need shredding in a bag or box and go to the free shred events every few months. The lightweight shredder I have would not hold up to the amount of stuff that would need to go through it. The other problem with papers shredded at home is what to do with the confetti that results. It doesn't work to just dump it in the recycle bin because the tiny pieces will fly all over the place when the trash company comes by and dumps it into their truck.
My wife takes the shredded confetti out to the barn and adds it to the bedding in the horse's stall. A few days in there and its pretty much the "icing on the cake" as far as security goes. Ends up being composted for a year or two and then helps push up the daisies around the garden.

Problem now is anybody we know with a shredder is bringing us bagfuls of their shreddings and it is becoming more than a horse can accomidate.
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S'mores
Old 01-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #39
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S'mores

Backyard bonfire works for me--especially with marshmallows. Yes, it takes time, but on a nice evening, what better way to spend it than just watching a fire and toasting marshmallows with chocolate and graham crackers?
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:16 PM   #40
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So, I am down to a) burning in the fireplace (seems like a tall order), b) buying a shredder and spending my first year of retirement carefully feeding pages into it bit by bit so as not to burn it out, c) visiting an ER Forum member whose community offers shredding services.
I had a backlog of shredding I needed to do after my old shredder died and I find that it doesn't take all that long. I periodically shred a few inches of stuff then wait awhile and do some more. It gets whittled down pretty quickly.
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