Shred hot

Written by: Geraldine Faulkner | Published:
Shred-on-Site's unoTech Upamat 70 H4 DS baler

Shred-on-Site is finding a growing market in destroying confidential paper at clients’ premises via its mobile shredding vehicles. Geraldine Faulkner reports from the company’s Surrey HQ, where it recently installed a unoTech Upamat 70 H4 DS baler

At the risk of sounding like Michael Caine, did you know that in a digital age when almost all transactions are conducted online, the UK still produces more than 20 million tonnes of paper waste every year, with the business community contributing to over 85% of all paper waste generated?

According to Adam Chandler, managing director of confidential shredding provider Shred-on-Site, whose head office is in Camberley, Surrey: “Bank statements and employee payslips are just a few of the many different documents that contain confidential information – in fact, almost all documents produced in the workplace contain some sort of confidential data. You’ll be surprised to learn that on a daily basis in almost every business, confidential material is still printed by virtually every member of staff.”

Threat of security risk

One side of the coin is that this scenario has created a problem for modern businesses, observes the MD. “The potential costs of security breaches can run into millions of pounds, which can lead to poor credit ratings, disgruntled suppliers and, moreover, a loss of trust among customers and peers.

“With an increase in identity theft and a marked increase in fraudulent activity involving stolen company information, protecting a company’s data has never been more important,” adds Chandler.

The other side of the coin, and the one on which Shred-on-Site is basing its expanding business, is that more and more companies are opting for the company’s products (shredding receptacles) and services (mobile shredding).

Chandler again: “Shred-on-Site provides clients with a range of shredding receptacles that come in a variety of colours, sizes and designs – even discreet lockable wooden containers that will keep a company’s confidential documentation secured. Our vetted field operatives arrive at an agreed time to collect the confidential paper from the receptacle or approved location. This material is then taken to our mobile shredding vehicles under lock and key, where it is shredded into small confetti-sized pieces.”

Certificate of destruction

And that is not all. Clients are invited to observe the shredding if required and, once the process is complete, a certificate of destruction is issued for their audit purposes. The shredded material is then transported back to Shred-on-Site’s recycling facility, where it is deposited and baled. After which the bales of shredded paper are then ready for transportation to a paper recycling mill.

“All of Shred-on-Site’s shredded paper is recycled back into either office papers for re-use or used to create low-grade paper products such as kitchen towels,” explains Chandler.

So which baler manufacturer is entrusted with baling Shred-on-Site’s shredded paper?

Amber Bale & Compact is the UK distributor for German manufacturer unoTech, whose balers appear to be taking the UK market by storm.

Jim Frost, director of Amber Bale & Compact, who has been in the industry for over 35 years, says: “We launched the company in 2013 and it was developed primarily as the UK agent for unoTech in Germany. UnoTech manufactures one of the largest ranges of balers in Europe; from small balers with a pressing force of 40 tonnes to others with a pressing force of 260 tonnes.

“The one that was supplied to Shred-on-Site is one of most popular models, namely the 70H with a 70-tonne press. This was developed only last year, specially for the shredding market, which we see as a growing market. To enable us to grow, we sold the company to O.Kay Engineering in 2016 and, as planned, we are now entering much larger markets in the UK with their backing.”

Heard it through the grapevine

How did Chandler and his fellow directors find out about Amber Bale & Compact?

Shred-on-Site heard about the company via Somerset-based CWS Engineering, which provides engineering support for the shredding specialist.

“We have lots of plants supplied by CWS, so it’s handy for us if they can service everything and cuts our costs,” states Chandler. “When we said we needed to buy a new baler, they sourced prices for us from market leaders and told us Amber balers seemed good kit. Compared with what we had before, they are not good – they are great.

“Our original baler had two big motors, which used to drain power. That is not the case with the Amber baler that we installed in September last year. It is smaller, neater and compact, and other than the usual teething problems you get when installing new kit, it has run like clockwork.”

How important is it to Shred-on-Site to have its own baler?

“We can’t survive for very long if we can’t bale our paper,” replies Chandler without hesitation. “The more we grow, the more it becomes a problem if the baler goes down. We have limited storage here so the timeline gets shorter. We now have two remote facilities in Bury, Manchester and in Bicester. Looking ahead, the idea with the site in Bicester is to replace the baler there. It will be an Amber baler as it makes sense. We can only operate so many vehicles out of our Camberley site, so we need to look at alternative ways of accommodating our growth.”

Where does the MD see the market going?

“The market continues to grow, and the big question is: are we ever going to move to a paperless office? Is there evidence of this taking place?” asks Chandler before adding: “Are we going to see a generational change with people not printing so much, which leads to a reduction in office papers?”

Chandler appears confident that the future for Shred-on-Site looks bright.

“If it is the case that people are not printing so much, then it’s being more than offset by SMEs moving to a vended service. Companies like us who offer vended services save our clients a great deal of admin, plus we offer compliance, which is becoming more and more of a driver. A lot of our clients need to demonstrate compliance, and that carries a lot of weight.”

Fact file: Shred-on-Site’s channel baling press Upamat 70 H4 DS

Shred-on-Site’s channel baling press boasts a 70-tonne pressing force and a 96N/cm2 specific pressing force, the latter being the force on the ram face against the materials being baled.

The 70 H4 DS includes a horizontal wire tie with four wires tying horizontally around the bales, which tie off automatically, thus holding each bale together securely (especially important for material like shredded paper).

DS denotes the baler is a bespoke model for data shredding, i.e. shredded paper. “This makes it an excellent machine for use in the confidential waste sector,” says Jim Frost, Amber Bale & Compact’s director.

Fact file: Shred-on-Site

Launched in 2007, Shred-on-Site is privately owned by MD Adam Chandler and three other directors: commercial director Mark Coombes, sales director Steve Geeves and operations director Scott Chandler.

“Shredding confidential materials on site in mobile shredding vehicles is a relatively recent development within this sector. Prior to that, if you were creating sensitive information that you wanted destroyed at the end of its life, you had two choices: shred it yourself, which just isn’t a viable option when volumes increase; or have it removed from your premises to be destroyed ‘off site’. More and more organisations just aren’t happy with that arrangement,” explains Chandler. “There will always be a market for ‘off site’ shredding and there are many reputable businesses out there offering that service; we do ourselves if the customer explicitly specifies it. However, there is no denying the fact that shredding material on site simply eradicates certain aspects of the process where security breaches could occur. Destruction takes place on the customers’ premises, and where security of information is absolutely critical, more and more organisations are choosing on-site destruction.”

The company now owns a fleet of 14 shredding trucks and possesses an established client base, with some customers going all the way back to 2007 when it first started out.

“Here at Camberley, we generate around 500 tonnes of recycled paper a month,” adds
the MD.

Fact file: Amber Bale & Compact

Part of the O.Kay Group, Amber Bale & Compact is the exclusive UK agent for unoTech, the German manufacturer of fully automatic balers. Amber also offers its own UK-built semi-automatic balers, vertical balers, conveyors and tippers plus a full range of static and portable compactors. According to director Jim Frost: “Our products are ideal for businesses processing large volumes of waste materials including cardboard, paper, shredded material, hard plastics, films, bottles, cans and RDF/SRF. From manual vertical balers to fully automated channel and twin-ram balers, they are used in factories, waste recycling sites and distribution centres.”

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