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Old 06-20-2021, 09:23 AM   #1
JEEPONLY
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Default Paper, paper, paper!

I have years (and years) of paper records. I also have an eight page paper shredder (including small staples). But the time and waste elements for this process don't make sense to me.
I'd be interested in hearing how others get rid of "sensitive documents" without spending hours and hours feathering out pages of paper to either shred or tear.
Is burning the option? If so- how would you do it?- Remember- years of paper!
Thanks in advance for your ideas.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:26 AM   #2
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One thing I learned the hard way is don't try to burn them. Paper is surprisingly difficult to burn, you can't keep the flame going. I once hand tore about 3,000 pages of documents when burning didn't work. Tore them into narrow strips about 5 sheets at a time. At that point I wished I had a paper shredder.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:49 AM   #3
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I'd go full hobo drum fire on them. The only issue is floating ash. Otherwise, call your credit union and ask when their next free shredding day is.

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Old 06-20-2021, 10:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEEPONLY View Post
I have years (and years) of paper records. I also have an eight page paper shredder (including small staples). But the time and waste elements for this process don't make sense to me.
I'd be interested in hearing how others get rid of "sensitive documents" without spending hours and hours feathering out pages of paper to either shred or tear.
Is burning the option? If so- how would you do it?- Remember- years of paper!
Thanks in advance for your ideas.
There are Companies out there with shredding trucks. For a fee, they will come to your home (or business) and shred all your confidential documents while you watch.

As an alternative, if you want to take a ride to Salem, MA there is a Company there that sells their bales of shredded paper. All this paper is created by folks (like us) bringing any quantity of paper documents into their business and criss cross shred it right before your eyes as you wait and watch. They don't charge a nickel for this service as they make all their money selling the shredded recycled paper. Their machinery is massive and can quickly shred all the volumes fed to it.

What could traditionally take days and days can be done in just a few minutes using the methods above.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:04 AM   #5
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I'd go full hobo drum fire on them. The only issue is floating ash. Otherwise, call your credit union and ask when their next free shredding day is.

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So, what does this mean?... Garbage can fire??? How do you start it? I mean, if we're talking garbage can style, not a lot of air gets down to the bottom to keep a fire going.
I agree, the floating ash could be a problem.

I am serious about this- it's a lot of paper and the issues of getting rid of it are more than meet the eye.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:32 AM   #6
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Default Shredding

Try Absolute Data Destruction in Goffstown. (800) 797-0515.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:44 AM   #7
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You might ask yourself a couple of questions:

First--is the paper really confidential? If it has your SSN, just for example--absolutely! But if it's only got your CC number and purchases, or your checking account number, or it's your gas bill--this info is readily available to others already.

Second--For everything except the top secret stuff--if you toss nondescript trash bags into the compacter at your local transfer station, what's the likelihood that any human being ever sees it again?

When I've asked myself these questions, my forbidding pile of confidential docs becomes much more manageable.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEEPONLY View Post
I have years (and years) of paper records. I also have an eight page paper shredder (including small staples). But the time and waste elements for this process don't make sense to me.
I'd be interested in hearing how others get rid of "sensitive documents" without spending hours and hours feathering out pages of paper to either shred or tear.
Is burning the option? If so- how would you do it?- Remember- years of paper!
Thanks in advance for your ideas.
You can take them to staples. They have locked containers you put them on and then to contents get shredded. You pay by the pound.


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Old 06-20-2021, 11:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JEEPONLY View Post
So, what does this mean?... Garbage can fire??? How do you start it? I mean, if we're talking garbage can style, not a lot of air gets down to the bottom to keep a fire going.
I agree, the floating ash could be a problem.

I am serious about this- it's a lot of paper and the issues of getting rid of it are more than meet the eye.
Steel garbage can or drum. Mix with a little wood here and there. If it's as much as you say, I'd do it in multiple burnings after following FS's idea above. Use a mesh screen from a standard fire pit if ash becomes an issue.

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Old 06-20-2021, 11:36 AM   #10
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My town in Ma has a recycling weekend every year and they have a free shredding truck on site. They have never asked for an ID so It seems like anyone from anywhere could show up.
I had years worth of paper that needed to be shredded. I made 2 trips and brought the guy coffee and donuts on the second trip.


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Old 06-20-2021, 12:05 PM   #11
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Expecting that the possibilities expressed here are sincere, I truly appreciate them.
Some viable (for me), others not.
It's all in having the choice of the variables that matters!
Thanks for all the ideas!

Curiosity question: What REALLY is the amount of time required to maintain legal records? I mean, why would anyone keep 20 years of tax filings?
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:21 PM   #12
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The IRS recommends keeping returns and other tax documents for three years (or two years from when you paid the tax, whichever is later.) The IRS has a statute of limitations on conducting audits and it is limited to three years.
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:22 PM   #13
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A burn barrel works well in summer. Wood stove during the winter months


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Old 06-20-2021, 06:32 PM   #14
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Default A long long time

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The IRS recommends keeping returns and other tax documents for three years (or two years from when you paid the tax, whichever is later.) The IRS has a statute of limitations on conducting audits and it is limited to three years.
The basic rule is that the IRS can audit for three years after you file, but there are many exceptions that give the IRS six years or longer. For example, the three years is doubled to six if you omitted more than 25% of your income. This 25% rule can apply to tax basis too.

The IRS also gets six years to audit if you omitted more than $5,000 of foreign income (say, interest on an overseas account). The IRS has no time limit if you never file a return or file fraudulently.

Another rule is that the IRS can audit forever if you omit certain tax forms such as Form 5471 if you own part of a foreign corporation.

Once a tax assessment is made, the IRS collection statute is typically ten years.
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:46 PM   #15
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I've always used a shredding service to destroy sensitive documents.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:13 AM   #16
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At our former home in NY we had a fireplace and burned them in there. We rented a house after that for a few months until we could move here and they had an outside burn barrel so we used that.

Here we don’t so we shred.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:22 AM   #17
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A note that I don't think the fireplace or woodstove are great places to burn a lot of paper. Ash can be sent up the chimney and clog up burn tubes and grates, etc. A straight fireplace is better, but paper creates much more ash than seasoned wood.

In a burn barrel, the fire is low enough that there's not as much upward air movement and it's easy enough to cover with a grate.

Just my two cents as the pyro in us all continues to rear her beautiful head.

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Old 06-21-2021, 07:58 AM   #18
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I just bring the papers to my credit union and they will shred for free!
Can't understand how the big banks survived. Got rid of them looong ago!
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:00 AM   #19
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Thanks for the ongoing advice!
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:29 PM   #20
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Default Audits?

If you are being audited, your CPA team/firm can give you the best advice. If you don't routinely deal with such a firm, you probably have noting worth saving after 3 years. The likelihood of somebody at the transfer station randomly searching through waste paper and seeing your credit card bills is pretty remote.

If I were looking for individual info, I wouldn't go to the dump. I'd try to hack some business and get hundreds or thousands of people's info.

Your Town Hall probably uses a shredding service. They may give you the name and you can arrange a separate pick up.
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:56 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by I.C.Isles View Post
You can take them to staples. They have locked containers you put them on and then to contents get shredded. You pay by the pound.


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I hate to say it, but this is a risky idea. You don't know who has access to those "locked" containers, and you have absolutely no way in knowing for a fact when or if your confidential documentation is actually shredded or sold to someone in Nigeria by an unethical employee.

I don't recommend anyone doing anything unless they can witness the actual shredding done while they witness it.....


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Old 06-22-2021, 12:24 PM   #22
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As mentioned earlier, piles of paper do not burn well. But my wife and I have developed a habit that solves this. Our offices each have a recycling bin for confidential paper. Anything that goes in is crumpled first.

Then when needed or when it's full, the contents are used either to light a wood stove fire in the winter, or a campfire in the summer.
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Old 06-23-2021, 11:18 PM   #23
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I'm out of thanks you,

Great idea's Merrymeeting!!
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:10 AM   #24
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piles of paper do not burn well, but if constantly feed the paper into the fire it burns just fine. do it outside in a fire pit type thing, go get cheap screening, i use the screen paint roller things you roll the roller on to reduce amount of paint on the roller for spark arrestors. Works perfect
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:15 AM   #25
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another option is to take your paper shredder, and take it off its bucket, hold in the level that stops it from working so it will still work and put it over a regular size barrel and go to town
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:34 AM   #26
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another option is to take your paper shredder, and take it off its bucket, hold in the level that stops it from working so it will still work and put it over a regular size barrel and go to town
Good thought…but most home shredders burn out pretty easily or just overheat and stop.

Another idea is shred what you get daily…but I do have a lot of time on my hands.
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