Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.

What to Shred Back to top

What kind of information should I shred?

The Data Protection Act and GDPR (from May 2018) governs every company regardless of size or industry. Each business has a duty of care to protect the information of its customers, employees and suppliers. Confidential information that must be destroyed securely could be contained in any of the following documents:

  • Legal documents

  • Employment records

  • Financial records and bank statements

  • Medical records

  • Receipts

  • Tax information

  • Correspondence

  • Customer records

  • Credit card details

  • Company records

  • Purchase orders

  • Case files

  • Notebooks

However, this isn’t an exhaustive list. A rule we request clients to apply is to shred anything that contains any names, addresses, phone numbers and financial information. We encourage all our clients to treat all information as if it was their own.

Do I need to remove staples, paperclips and plastic wallets from the paper?

Small amounts of metal (paper clips, staples etc.) are fine. Industrial shredding machines are designed to cope with small amounts of metal, whereas general office shredders are not. We can sort your confidential waste at our premises, recycling as much of it as possible. Please remove plastic wallets as this may have an impact on us recycling the shredded paper.

Data Protection & Security Back to top

How can I be sure that my information is disposed of securely?

Our DBS-checked team are highly trained in the secure handling of confidential information. Our services are accredited to ISO9001 and BS EN15713 (Confidential Destruction of Material) standards. Chaffinch Document provides services to large, highly-regulated businesses across a wide range of industries, and we extend the same levels of security and service to large businesses, small businesses, households and personal shredding.

Our shredding service includes the provision of a Certificate of Destruction for every job we do. It is a requirement of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 to keep a Certificate of Destruction for all information that must be disposed of securely.

Find out more about our awards and accreditations.

Why do I need to shred information?

The General Data Protection Regulation 2018 places a requirement on companies to protect all personal data. An information breach could cost millions of pounds in fines, with recent test cases involving British Airways being fined £183m and Marriott Hotels being fined £99m for breaches. Under the previous law, the Data Protection Act 1998, the maximum fine was £500,000. However, under GDPR, fines can be up to €20m or 4% of annual global turnover. Partnering with the right confidential destruction and shredding company is a decision of huge importance.

In addition, fraud and identity theft are the fastest growing non-violent crime in the UK, meaning the risk to your information, no matter how trivial has never been greater.

Can you provide me with documentation to prove your compliance?

Yes. We are happy to provide copies of our ISO9001 and BS EN15713 certificates for your records. We also have a lots of process documents outlining our process, together with a robust Data Protection Policy Statement.

What are the benefits of using a professional shredding service?

We all run busy lives, where presumably the purpose and value of your time for your business doesn’t involve sitting shredding large quantities of paper on inefficient office shredding machinery. Even so, you might be wondering what the benefits of using a professional shredding company are over choosing to do it yourself.

Even with the best intentions, papers and files can soon form a backlog, which potentially risks non-compliance data protection guidelines and increases the risk of a data breach. Professional paper shredding services provide a reliable and certified way to ensure that your shredding is completed on time, and with all the necessary security features.

Professional document shredding services ensure that 100% of shredded paper is recycled back into the paper supply chain. It assists with efforts for us all to be kinder to our planet, and counts towards any Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and Carbon Neutrality efforts.

Finally, using an office shredder can present numerous problems, one of which being they can only take a few pages of paper per pass. This makes paper shredding internally an inefficient and time consuming process. Your staff resource is usually better utilised elsewhere on more productive activities, and it is rarely a job that any staff member enjoys. As the volumes of paperwork grow, the inefficiencies increase which result in higher costs to the business.

Pricing & Payment Back to top

How do I pay for my shredding?

Our regular shredding services are all invoiced monthly. You will be invoiced for the number of services you receive in a particular month and payment will be collected via Direct Debit. By arrangement we can also set up account terms.

For our one-off shredding service, we accept Visa, Mastercard and Maestro cards. You will pay via a single payment for the service when you place your booking.

What am I committing to if I sign up with your service?

All our regular services are based on a contract term of 12 months. This provides you with the peace of mind of a GDPR-compliant confidential destruction service without the hassle or risk of forgetting to keep on top of things.

Our ad hoc and one-off shredding service provides document shredding at your convenience, and is perfect for clearing out old records.

How much does your paper shredding service cost?

We believe our shredding service offers the perfect mix of value and convenience for all types of business. Shredding costs are usually depend on volumes, but unlike other national shredding companies, we offer total pricing transparency.

You can get an fast online quote or book your paper shredding here.


Won't my own shredder do the same job?

We know that many homes and offices have their own shredders, but it is a false economy. We guarantee that in the vast majority of businesses, whether large or small, there is a lot of information waiting for someone to disposing of it. It's just the sort of job that keeps getting put off! The hidden cost of having staff shred data can increase the cost of the process by 50% compared with an outsourced provider, whilst simultaneously improving the process. Health and safety risks associated with office shredders mean that they must be very well maintained, especially as they get older. Put simply, free up time to spend it on what you do best, and let us do what we do best.

Do you have a minimum spend?

We do have a minimum spend of £30 for our shredding services. This allows us to provide the same excellent level of customer service to all customers, regardless of size and spend.


How much does your paper shredding service cost?

Our shredding services provide excellent value for money, and ensure compliance with all Data Protection legislation. Since May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation has threatened large fines, the larger of €20m or 4% of global revenues, on organisations who do not properly protect the confidential information which belongs to their customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Choosing to partner with a professional shredding company can have a meaningful impact on your business. Our regular shredding console service starts from as little as £25 per month.

We also offer a large range of containers and service types. You can find details, including all our shredding service prices here.

The Environment Back to top

How does your service impact on the environment?

We are a proud environmentally-friendly company, and are passionate about preserving our planet for future generations. We are always seeking ways to further reduce the carbon footprint of our paper-shredding business. 100% of the paper we shred is recycled back into the paper supply chain at UK-based miles. We don’t believe that transporting recycled paper thousands of miles across the globe helps our environment. We proudly support local paper mills.

What happens to the paper once it has been shredded?

Once your information has been confidentially shredded into confetti-sized pieces of paper and beyond all possible recognition, the shredded paper is baled for recycling. We supply SOW (Sorted Office Waste) and CHL (Coloured Heavy Letter) into paper mills to be turned back into tissue products such as kitchen roll, toilet roll and tissues.

How does shredding help the environment?

As all the shredding paper is recycled, this helps to reduce the amount of new trees which are cut down to make paper products. It is estimated that each tonne recycled paper saves 17 trees; 1,400 litres of oil and 26,500 litres of water. In an age where we all need to do our bit to save the environment, our shredding service can help towards reducing your carbon footprint.

How do we know that you are serious about the environment?

We like to put our money where our mouth is. We support various environmental charities such as our local Wildlife Trust, to develop young people’s knowledge about our natural world, and to preserve areas of keen environmental interest.

What happens to the paper that you shred?

Once we collect your paper shredding with our GPS-tracked vehicles, it is returned to our document shredding facility where it is processed, shredded and baled. Once the paper has been shredded, it is then categorised into grades for supply back into the recycled paper market. We usually despatch paper as either sorted office waste (SOW) or coloured heavy letter (CHL), with the latter being the higher quality grade.

The shredded paper is recycled by being supplied to UK paper mills to be used in the production of tissue products. This can be consumables such as toilet roll, kitchen roll, healthcare products, catering products and other items. We are very proud that our service helps the environment by making use of the outputs.

Collections Back to top

Can I reschedule my collection or make changes to my order?

If you have booked a one-off shredding service, you can make changes up to 24 hours to your collection date. If you need to make changes, if contact our office, they will advise you of the next available slot to rebook your collection.

If you are signed up to the regularly scheduled service, this will be carried out on the agreed frequency on a particular day, and the service is designed to reduce the burden of booking, amending and rebooking collections. If you would like to discuss the regularity of collections or quantity of containers you can contact our office.

When do you collect?

In order to maximize the cost-efficiency of our document destruction service and reduce the cost to our customers, collection routes are based on postcode areas. We service postcodes on particular days of the week. When you sign up, you will be able to see our available shredding collection days for your postcode area.

Where can you collect shredding from?

We can collect from your business or home address as required. Lockable consoles can be sited anywhere in your workplace, and our drivers will service these at each location, without you needing to lift a finger. For bags and archive boxes, our standard collection is from the ground floor of your premises.

Due to health and safety reasons, wheelie bins can only be delivered to and collected from the ground floor of your workplace or home, unless there is a working lift.

What if my container is full before my scheduled service date?

If your container fills up more quickly than anticipated, please give us a call as we can schedule extra collections. It may be that if your business is growing, the amount of confidential information you are producing is also growing. In which case, we will be happy to discuss supplying you with additional containers or increasing the regularity of your collections.

Can I drop off my shredding at your depot?

Yes. We are happy for you to bring your shredding to our depot in Stoke-on-Trent. As we operate a secure site, if you wish to drop off information, please contact us to arrange an appointment.

I can't see my location listed. Can you still help?

Yes we can still help! If we don't operate a collection route in your area, then you can bring your documents to us yourself.

If you have checked and we don't appear to cover your area (please get in touch to find out first, as we're adding new routes frequently) then you are welcome to bring your shredding to our depot in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

As we operate a secure site, if you wish to drop off documents for shredding, please contact us to arrange an appointment in advance.

What areas does your document shredding service cover?

We cover a large part of the midlands and north west of England. We make regular collections from and have routes in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Shropshire.

Some of the cities and towns that we collect from include Crewe, Nantwich, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Telford, Wolverhampton, Uttoxeter, Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Leicester, Derby, Chester, Oswestry, Wrexham, Burton Upon Trent and Shrewsbury.

If you're unsure as to whether our shredding service covers your area, then please contact us. You can find out more about the areas our shredding service covers here.

How do you shred papers?

We process all the documents that we collect for shredding atour confidential shredding facility, where we can process over 3 tonnes of paper per hour.

Our data protection-trained, security-checked staff operate industrial shredding machinery which can process paper shredding at very high volumes. All documents are destroyed using cross-cut shredding technology to DIN Level 3. Our machinery destroys documents beyond all recognition. Once the paper has been shredded, it is then baled for recycling purposes.

Can I change my scheduled collection date with you?

We operate based on several pre-planned routes, and your service days depend on your location. However, if your container fills up more quickly than expected, or your circumstances change, we are happy to re-arrange your collection to your next available service date.

We build our service routes to provide as much flexibility as possible, as we understand the demands of modern business. Please get in touch with usif you need to discuss your requirements in more detail, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Containers & Paper Back to top

What types of container do you provide?

For a fully compliant service, we believe that lockable containers are best placed to reduce the risks to your data whilst it is at your premises. We supply:

  • Lockable consoles in a variety of finishes
  • Lockable 240 Litre wheelie bins (larger sizes available by request)
  • Shredding bags and security ties

We have containers to suit every type of business and workplace environment. We are proud that the finishes on our lockable shredding consoles are front-of-house standard, which means that you can provide tangible proof to your clients and suppliers that you have provision in place to protect their information.

Do I need to remove staples and paperclips before shredding?

Not at all. Industrial shredding machines are designed to cope with small amounts of metal, whereas general office shredders are not. We can sort your confidential waste at our premises, recycling as much of it as possible.

Do I need to remove plastic wallets?

Ideally, yes. Chaffinch Document is passionate about working with clients to reduce the amount of plastics used. Plastic wallets are difficult to recycle and add to the amount of waste going to landfill in many instances.

What size of boxes can be shredded in the service?

Our service pricing is based on archive box-sized containers up to 30mm x 40mm x 44mm. We can collect and shred larger boxes, however please note that the cost will change to reflect larger sized containers.

Can I use black bin bags?

We take the security and integrity of your information very seriously. Unfortunately, we cannot collect confidential information contained in bin liners or other unsealed containers.

These pose a data security risk to your information as they can often split due to the weight of the paper within. You are welcome to use your own archive boxes, however please make sure that they are sealed.

We would highly recommend using one of the secure options we provide on our website. Take a look at our recommended secure document storage bins & consoles.

Ready to book your shredding?