Writer // Cris Trautner Photography // Laura Arick Identity theft is a growing problem worldwide, and the documents you deal with on a daily basis, from junk mail to bank statements to tax returns, can become a resource for identity thieves. How do you protect yourself? QuickShred of Indianapolis can help protect you from identity theft by quickly, confidentially and securely shredding and recycling anything with personal information, from documents to electronics. Identity theft is often associated with data hacks and compromised accounts at large companies, but thieves aren’t above digging through your trash or mail to find your personal and financial information. “One out of three people will lose their identity this year, and it grows every year,” stated Quick Shred owner Chris Shepherd. You can prevent thieves from accessing this information by the simple act of shredding documents that contain personal information, financial information, and account information—including junk mail, which often has a bar code that sometimes contains personally identifying information. Your personal information can be found on the return envelope as well. That’s a lot of paper, and the personal shredder you bought may take too long or not be able to handle the volume of paper and overheat. This is where QuickShred comes in. Highly Qualified and Experienced QuickShred is a member of NAID, the National Association of Information Destruction, and has been for all of its years in business. The company has received Angie’s List’s Super Service Award and maintains an A rating on the service, and it is a complaint-free member of the Better Business Bureau. For a business that has reached its 12th anniversary, that’s a remarkable testament to how well Shepherd and his staff do their job and treat their customers. QuickShred works with everyone from seniors who need to shred personal documents so they don’t become a burden to their heirs to businesses, CPAs and lawyers. The company shreds for over a thousand CPAs and nearly a hundred law firms. “My business is probably 60% business and 40% personal,” said Shepherd. While much of their work is dropped off or done while customers watch, the company also provides a pickup service that covers a 35-mile radius from Indianapolis, including Muncie, Bloomington and Anderson, as well as Carmel and Zionsville. But Shepherd noted that “if the job is big enough, I will travel.” Document Shredding If you’ve ever spent time shredding documents at your home or office, you know the pain of dealing with jams and overheating and how long the process can take. When you’re dealing with confidential information, such as legal documents, a small office shredder is probably not as secure as you need it to be. Then there’s the question of what’s to be done with your shredded paper; not all recyclers accept shredded paper, and if they do, it can’t go in with your regular recycling and needs to be handled differently. And what assurance do you have that your recycling is actually being recycled (and not picked through) after it’s picked up? This is where QuickShred shines. You can bring in almost anything to be shredded. There’s no need to prepare your shredding by removing staples or paperclips. QuickShred can shred it all, from documents and files with staples and clips, to three-ring binders, to microfiche, CDs, DVDs and credit cards. What makes the experience unique is that you can watch your documents be shredded while you wait. Your documents never leave your sight—they’re shredded while you watch. Shepherd added, “The biggest satisfaction people get coming here is seeing the documents destroyed in full view.” The shredding is also quick and thorough. Instead of working like a home or small office shredder that uses a scissor cut that can potentially be put back together, QuickShred’s shredder rips apart the material. “It hits one page 16 times,” explained Shepherd, “so you lose 32 characters per page per line because it’s ripping the paper instead of cutting the paper. You can’t put it back together. It’s totally destroyed.” The professional-grade shredder can shred 250 pounds of paper in three or four minutes. Then everything is recycled, not only the paper but the ink and the metal. Before you leave, you will be given a certificate of destruction that guarantees what you brought in has been destroyed. After reading this, if you’re expecting a dusty, dark warehouse when you visit QuickShred, be prepared to be disappointed. Their retail location is bright and clean with large windows. “When people come here, they can’t believe how nice it is,” said Shepherd. QuickShred also offers free chocolate chip cookies that you can enjoy while watching your documents be securely and confidentially destroyed. Their fees for shredding are very competitive. QuickShred charges by the quantity, so the more you shred, the less it costs per pound. A small plastic grocery bag filled with shredding costs $6 to shred, while a 64-gallon wheeled tote, fully filled, costs $58 to shred. Over 400 businesses take advantage of QuickShred’s convenient pickup service. QuickShred provides a container, a wheeled tote or a large bin. When the container is full, the business calls QuickShred to pick it up and swap it out for an empty one. They will also pick up electronics to recycle. Like all recycling companies, QuickShred has minimums for pickup of documents and electronics. Secure Document Recycling QuickShred’s shredding involves five processes, two of which are done at the store. First, documents are shredded, then the shredding goes into a fluffer, where the shredded material is mixed up with thousands of other people’s shredding. The mix is then put into bales, which are picked up by the recycler and delivered to paper mills. At the paper mill, the shredded material goes through three more processes, including time spent in a vat to separate the paper from the ink and metal. The ink and metal are recycled. The remaining result of the process, Shepherd said, is almost like a powder, which is then used in recycled paper goods. Each bale that QuickShred provides to the recycler weights 1,500 pounds. QuickShred recycles tons and tons of material every month. Secure Electronics Recycling QuickShred also securely recycles electronics with an emphasis on anything that has personal information on it, including cell phones, hard drives, laptops, desktop computers, even printers and flat-screen televisions. “I’ve been recycling electronics for about a year and a half,” said Shepherd. With the threat of identity theft and the ability for thieves to access personal and financial information on old phones and computers, this aspect of his business has been steadily growing. Security Is Built into the System “Security is taken very seriously” at QuickShred, Shepherd emphasized. QuickShred provides a high level of security throughout the shredding and recycling process for both documents and electronics. The entire building, inside and out, is under 24/7 surveillance from NAID, ADT and Shepherd himself. Document containers that are picked up are “locked up three times” in the truck, Shepherd explained, which means three different locks are used on the container. Electronics in the building are “locked up twice,” which means two different locks are used on the container. In addition, the electronics recycler the company works with, Esco, is R2/RIOS certified (Responsible Recycling/Recycling Industry Operating Standards), which is the highest standard of certification endorsed by the government for responsible, environmentally friendly recycling practices. Protect yourself from identity theft by using Quick Shred’s secure and confidential document shredding and electronics recycling services. Visit their retail location at 5040 E. 62nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46220, call (317) 251-1167 or learn more from their website at quickshredindy.com.