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Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Updated on October 31, 2014

Local residents lined up to safely destroy their documents during the Community Shred Day held on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the Shelby Township municipal building parking lot. According to the Shelby Township Police Department, shredding personal documents and information is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft.

The service is provided once a year since it is quite costly. The Shelby Township Community Foundation provides grant money, the police department pays out of their budget, and Absolute Shreds, a mobile document shredding company, donates half the cost themselves to put on this event.

The picture above is one of the many trucks that Absolute Shreds has in their fleet. Each one is a mobile, self-contained shredding machine.
The picture above is one of the many trucks that Absolute Shreds has in their fleet. Each one is a mobile, self-contained shredding machine. | Source

Residents and Businesses Benefit From Shred Day Event

Shelby Township residents and businesses appreciate the public service and attendance has remained consistent throughout the years. It saves them time and ensures their documents are properly destroyed. Most return on an annual basis with papers for shredding.

Bags and boxes of paper material were taken from people's vehicles as they lined-up to process through the demanding activity. The material was then placed in large, roll-away containers. From there, workers and volunteers immediately took it to the onsite shredding machine that is self-contained in the trucks.

According to Absolute Shreds, the average quantity a person brings for shredding amounts to about 2 to 4 boxes. In the past, there were rare occasions when someone would bring a couple hundred boxes to the free event.

Shredded Material is Recycled

Absolute Shreds indicated that all the paper is recycled after shredding, so everyone can feel good that they are doing something for the environment. Each truck holds 10,000 pounds of shredded paper. Today's event produced approximately 25,000 pounds of material.

The paper from this one event will produce anywhere from 10 to 12 tons of shredded material. And, every ton of recycled paper saves seventeen trees and a lot of landfill space.

Volunteers Help Make The Event Happen

Students from Eisenhower High School Key Club volunteered to assist at the event. Lifting heavy bags and boxes throughout the day, carrying containers from cars to bins, and directing traffic was all in day's work for the exceptional volunteers. The help was greatly appreciated since it is really tough to bring enough people together to handle this type of volume.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

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What To Do Between Events

Absolute Shreds offers the following suggestions for what people can do with their papers between now and next year’s Community Shred Day.

  • Shelby Township residents can save their documents until the next event scheduled for October 2015.
  • People can take their documents to a UPS Store that partners with Absolute Shreds. Their documents are put in a locked, secured container and Absolute Shreds goes to the UPS location and shreds the paper onsite. Check Absolute Shreds website for UPS locations.
  • Absolute Shreds has walk-in-hours on Wednesdays from 8:00 - 10:00 AM at their location in Auburn Hills, Michigan. You can watch while they securely shred your materials. It is best to call ahead for information about quantity and cost.
  • You can contact Absolute Shreds to make arrangements for a residential call since they are a mobile service.
  • You can also check their website for additional information about other free community events. If you are not a member of the community, it is always best to contact the shred day event coordinator to make sure it is open to the public.

More information about Absolute Shreds is available on their web site at www.absoluteshreds.com.

Using a cross-cutting shredder is a great method to protect yourself from identity theft.
Using a cross-cutting shredder is a great method to protect yourself from identity theft. | Source

Additional Information To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

The Shelby Township Police Department recommends the following to protect you from identity theft.

  • Shredding documents is always a good thing to do to help prevent identity theft.
  • Do not respond to emails or phone calls if you don't know who is contacting you. Legitimate companies will never ask for your personal or financial information through an email or phone call. Delete suspicious emails and hang-up the phone if in doubt.
  • Do not let anyone into your home. Keep the doors locked. Always obtain proper identification and call the company to verify the person at your door is authorized.
  • Monitor your credit reports. Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.shtm. They provide information for free credit reports and credit checks.

Thanks To Everyone Who Participated

There was a constant flow of Community Shred Day participants all day Saturday. There were a lot of happy people and they want to know when they can come back and do it again. Thank you to the Shelby Township Police Department, the Shelby Township Community Foundation, Absolute Shreds, and the Eisenhower High School Key Club volunteers for making this event happen.

© 2014 Deborah Kulish

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