Shredding your documents is a one way to protect yourself from identity theft and other forms of fraud. Shred pre-approved credit card offers, tax records, employment records, old bills, out-of-date account statements and other personal documents that include confidential information.
Several organizations regularly hold free paper shredding events in the Triangle.
We will be regularly updating this page with free paper shredding events in the Triangle. If you know of one that should be listed, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it, time permitting.
Shred events are often part of Earth Day celebrations, so be on the lookout for those!
Read on for a little bit of information about buying your own shredder, and then a list of upcoming shredding events.
Buying a Shredder
Thinking of buying your own shredder? There are several kinds of paper shredders, and it’s important to know the differences between them, so that you can make the best choice for your privacy and security.
Strip-cut shredder: These cut papers into long strips. A standard size paper is typically cut into about 39 strips. They’re fine for shredding junk mail, but are not great for confidential materials, because the strips might still contain readable information. Also known as ribbon-cut, spaghetti-cut, or straight-cut shredders.
Cross-cut shredder: These cut paper diagonally from both directions. A standard size paper is typically cut into 400 pieces, offering more security than a strip-cut shredder. Cross-cut shredders are the most popular kind of shredders. Also known as a confetti-cut shredder.
Micro-cut shredder: These are the most secure, but are generally slower and more expensive than cross-cut or strip-cut shredders. They cut a standard size paper into 2,000 particles, making it impossible to read any data from the document.
Other features to consider:
- Auto-feed shredder: Load a large quantity of paper at one time, so you don’t have to feed paper one sheet at a time.
- CD shredding: Some shredders have a slot for shredding CDs, DVDs and credit cards.
- Continuous duty paper shredders: Most shredders can shred for a certain amount of time (15-30 minutes) before needing time to cool down. Make sure to check for that in the specifications. A continuous duty shredder doesn’t need a cool down break.
- Waste baskets. Most shredders come with a wastebasket. A pull-out waste basket is more convenient than the lift-off head. You can also put shredder bags inside the bin to make emptying easier.
Free paper shredding events in the Triangle
Free shredding in Wake Forest: The Town of Wake Forest will hold its fifth annual paper shredding event on Mondaym April 19th, 2021, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (or until the trucks are full), rain or shine, in the parking lot of the Wake Forest Renaissance Center, 405 S. Brooks Street. Residents will drive up to the shredding point, then unload their boxes and bags of paper for shredding. The paper will be shredded on site. There’s a limit of four banker box sized boxes or four large bags. One trip per household. More info.
Shred Day in Apex: On Saturday, April 24th, 2021, the Town of Apex will hold a free shredding day at the Saunders Street parking lot across from the Police Department. It will take place 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., or until the truck is full. Please bring only documents containing personal identifying information. Please don’t bring books, magazines, newspapers or other recyclables. You don’t have to remove staples or paper clips. Please remove all metal from hanging file folders and spiral bound notebooks. Bring up to two small boxes or bags. More info.
Shred Events in Chatham County: Solid Waste & Recycling plans to have a document shredding event on April 17, 2021 and November 20, 2021. Chatham County residents can bring up to three boxes or bags of documents from their household for free shredding. This service provides an opportunity for residents to safely destroy and recycle old tax records, credit card statements, and other personal documents. Please remove papers from folders or files, as those items can go in your recycling bin and do not need to be shredded. Do not bring CDs, tapes, etc.; throw those items in the trash. Businesses are not allowed, including home businesses. Check back here for details as they’re announced.
Earth Day Celebration in Durham: Durham Parks and Recreation is holding a drive-in Earth Day Celebration on April 24th, 2021, at Durham County Memorial Stadium. If you attend the celebration you can drop off paper on the way in, to be shredded. Even if you don’t go to the celebration you can drop off paper to be shredded. But in both cases, you need to pre-register for your time slot, either for the celebration or just the paper drop-off. More info here on Durham’s Earth Day Celebration and Paper Shredding Event.
Spring Shred-a-Thon with Orange County Solid Waste Management in Chapel Hill: Saturday, April 24th, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eubanks Road Park and Ride Lot, 1768 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill. This Shred-a-Thon is open to residents of Orange County and Chapel Hill, small businesses, and local government employees. Limit of four boxes per person. Remove any plastic or metal items–staples are okay. Wearing a mask is required, and you must handle your own paper. No on-site help will be available. Please bring confidential papers only (no newspapers, magazines, or catalogs). Recycle non-confidential paper in blue carts or at recycling drop-off sites. More info.
Spring Shred-a-Thon with Orange County Solid Waste Management in Hillsborough: Saturday, May 1st, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., behind Home Depot, 625 Hampton Pointe, Hillsborough. This Shred-a-Thon is open to residents of Orange County and Chapel Hill, small businesses, and local government employees. Limit of four boxes per person. Remove any plastic or metal items–staples are okay. Wearing a mask is required, and you must handle your own paper. No on-site help will be available. Please bring confidential papers only (no newspapers, magazines, or catalogs). Recycle non-confidential paper in blue carts or at recycling drop-off sites. More info.
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Upcoming Events in the Triangle -- both virtual and in-personCheck out our full events calendar, where you can enter any date, or look at the events for the next few days here:
Monday, April 19, 2021
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Wake Forest, NC
Chapel Hill, NC