Spring brings change all around! As the trees turn from bare to blossoming, it reminds us to kick off the season of renewal with a clean, decluttered space. Believe it or not, Spring cleaning also has a ton of health benefits too! It can reduce stress, strengthen your immune system, and help you avoid illnesses. Fortunately, the Hudson County Improvement Authority is ready to help you prepare for Spring cleaning with several upcoming opportunities to safely dispose of unwanted personal documents and confidential information that clutters your home.

Why Should I Shred Paper?

In addition to decluttering your home this Spring, shredding paper can protect your personal information from people who are trying to steal it. Identity theft is a common crime used to steal personal and sensitive information across the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 4 million tons of junk mail are sent to Americans annually. In addition to this junk mail or address mix-up, important mail like bank statements can easily fall into the wrong hands. Shredding personal documents and sensitive materials is the best and only way to protect yourself from identity theft and keep your confidential information secure. Shredding paper can also help you save on storage space, remove fire hazards and help the environment!

What Should I Shred?

There are certain requirements around shredding sensitive information and documents. Consumer advocates recommend destroying any documents that include a signature, account number, social security number, credit card number and credit, medical or legal information. To protect your privacy, you should also consider shredding documents that include birth dates, passwords and PINs, names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Some examples of items that you should shred include ATM receipts, bank statements, canceled or voided checks, pay stubs and address labels from junk mail or magazines.

With tax season among us, the IRS recommends keeping tax documents and any tax-related documents used to support your tax returns for up to seven years before shredding. Additional personal documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, utility and credit card bills, insurance policies and ATM receipts should be kept for one to two years for reconciliation purposes. The Hudson County Improvement Authority guarantees that personal documents will be commercially shredded safely, privately and properly by trained, licensed and bonded document destruction specialist.

Electronic filing systems are also beneficial to managing personal documents and keeping your home clean and organized. For most companies you can opt into paperless billing, electronic bank statements or scanning personal paper documents into an electronic storage system to minimize your environmental impact and protect against identity theft.

Recycling Paper is Good For the Environment

As Earth Day nears, we are reminded of the importance of investing in innovative ways to reduce the amount of paper waste sent to landfills. However, we shouldn’t only recycle paper during Spring! In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to power the average American home for six months. Luckily, shredded paper is recyclable and safe for composting. Recycled paper material can be turned into different consumer goods including tissues, paper towels, coffee filters and paper plates. The Sierra Club also advises that shredded paper, excluding colored and glossy paper, is very safe to use as mulch or in compost, especially in your Spring garden!

Overall, there are many benefits to recycling paper that can benefit both humans and the Earth. Recycling paper reduces greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change, reduces the number of trees that are cut down, saves energy and keeps landfill space free for other types of trash that can’t be recycled. You can also re-use shredded paper for tissue paper in gift bags or baskets, especially for upcoming Spring holidays, packaging in shipped goods or as bedding for your pet rabbit or hamster.

Hudson County Shredding Opportunities

If you are still sticking to your New Year’s Resolution of staying more organized, paper shredding events are a great opportunity to safely dispose of personal and sensitive documents without having to spend a dime.

This Spring, the Hudson County Improvement Authority is offering several upcoming mobile document shredding events across the county. These Free events will be held from 9 am to 2 pm, rain or shine and open to all residents of Hudson County. Businesses are not eligible to participate. Check out the graphic below to find an upcoming Mobile Paper Shredding event near you!

If you plan to attend one of the Mobile Shredding Events, make sure to only bring personal or confidential documents. Any newspapers, magazines, binder clips, cardboard, books, or binders will not be accepted. Due to COVID-19, the HCIA requests that all residents remain in their vehicle and place their personal documents and materials in their trunk. To accommodate all residents wishing to participate in HCIA Mobile Shredding Days, please limit your documents to no more than 40 pounds. Residents can bring documents in whatever type of container they wish. The events are only open to Hudson County residents so be sure to bring a valid license to participate. If you have any questions, you can contact the HCIA’s environmental Hotline at 201-324-6222 ext 3257 or visit www.hcia.org.

The HCIA thanks you for participating in creating a cleaner and greener home and community for all. Welcome Spring and Happy Shredding!

   

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