FIVE STAR SHREDDING and the Environment
Part of the service we offer our clients is the knowledge that we dispose of shredded paper in the most environmentally responsible way possible. We're committed to protecting Mother Earth and we do more than just talk about "going green". We recycle 100% of the scrap paper produced from our paper shredding jobs!
We work directly with Georgia Pacific to recycle our paper. They transport our shredded paper waste to a pulp mill in Savannah, Georgia and covert the raw paper to reusable fiber for new products like paper towels, tissue paper, and more.
Many people don't fully appreciate how much energy and clean water is required to harvest and mill living trees into usable paper products. The process is inefficient and pollutes both air and water. Although the recycling process requires some energy, recycling just one ton of paper saves about 7,000 gallons of clean water, 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, 60 pounds of air pollutants, 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill and 2 gallons of oil.
We're proud to do our part to help the environment and encourage our clients to do the same. Below are a few things you can do to help:
Everyone knows about the essential items they should be recycling at home like paper, plastics, glass and aluminum. But recycling doesn't have to stop there. Yard sales and charitable donations are a great way to recycle items your family no longer uses. You can set an example at work and encourage others to recycle as well.
Buy Recycled Products
Most people are surprised to learn just how many recycled products are available. Automobile parts, building materials, clothes, floor coverings, paper products and toner cartridges are just a few examples. Try an internet search for "buying recycled products". You'll be amazed at the products available!
Use a Certified Document Destruction Service
If your organization is using an office shredder instead of a certified shredding service, chances are that at least one of your office mates is dumping shredded paper into the trash instead of the recycling bin. That means your organization is not only NOT recycling all the paper they should, they're exposing confidential information to dumpster divers who sift through trash and piece together strips of company and personal information for their own financial gain.
A NAID AAA Certified shredding company like Five Star will recycle all your paper with our secure recycling program while keeping your discarded information safe.
Laws and Regulations in the Document Destruction Industry
The increase in identity theft crimes has resulted in the enactment of several federal laws designed to protect consumers' private information. Some states have also enacted laws, including the states of California, Wisconsin and Georgia. In the state of Georgia, the primary law all businesses should concern themselves with is the Georgia Information Privacy Act SB475. This bill was passed to ensure all companies properly destroy any document that contains individual's private information. Specifically, section 10-15-2 states that a business may not discard a record containing personal information unless it:
- Shreds the customer's record before discarding the record
- Erases the personal information contained in the customer's record before discarding the record
- Modifies the customer's record to make the personal information unreadable before discarding the record
- Takes actions that it reasonably believes will ensure that no unauthorized person will have access to the personal information contained in the customer's record for the period between the record's disposal and the record's destruction.
In addition to Georgia's law, the following Federal Laws also require businesses to properly destroy any document containing personal information.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, also known as the FACT Act, was signed into law on December 4, 2003. The Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA'"). The Act contains a number of provisions intended to combat identity theft, consumer fraud and related crimes. Specifically, the act requires the destruction of PAPERS CONTAINING CONSUMER INFORMATION. Virtually every business or organization is bound by this law.
The DISPOSAL RULE
Sec. 682.3 Proper disposal of consumer information.
(a) Standard. Any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information, or any compilation of consumer information, for a business purpose must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal.
(b) Examples. Reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of consumer information in connection with its disposal would include:
(1) Implementing and monitoring compliance with policies and procedures that require the burning, pulverizing, or shredding of papers containing consumer information so that the information cannot practicably be read or reconstructed.
For more information visit the following links:
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), was enacted in 1996 and includes provisions intended to safeguard the privacy of patient health records. HIPAA is a significant piece of legislation with onerous penalties. For a full text of the SUMMARY OF THE HIPAA PRIVACY RULE from the Department of Human Services online. See page 14 of this document in regards to shredding information.
GLB (Gramm Leach Bliley)
Gramm Leach Bliley (GLB) is another federal law with a much broader scope than HIPAA. This law was designed to compel financial institutions to "respect the privacy of its customers and to protect the security and confidentiality of those customers' non-public personal information." This language suggests that paper documents containing such personal information should also be protected when in use and safely destroyed when no longer current and usable.