Document Disposal: Alternatives to the Shredder

Document Disposal: Alternatives to the Shredder

Campbell Faulkner
Mar 23, 2011

Document disposal is a very important, and in our opinion, a painful task. We do not own a shredder and thus have to resort to destroying our important documents by tearing or cutting with scissors. While not a terrible solution, below we have rounded up a few more and our thoughts about each.

  1. Scissors: Yes we know this one is intuitive, but it is still worth listing as nearly everyone has them in their home. We suggest folding the documents to make cutting the stacks easier along with making sure you are not using your scissors from elementary school. This method is not nearly as secure as using a crosscut shredder, but does the job.

  2. Bag of Water: Lifehacker featured what we think is one of the best tips that we have seen for destroying a document or two. Just fill the bag with your documents and water and mush it up until there is nothing discernible left.

  3. Burn Them!: Yes the pyro in us really enjoys this method and if properly equipped, it is easily executed. Just make sure you do this in a fireplace, BBQ pit, or something else meant to burn things in. The downside is that it requires can create a mess with flaming bits floating about. We also do not think this is practical unless you diligently save up your documents that need to be destroyed.

  4. DIY Laser Printer Shredder: This is one of the most bizarre and cool ideas that we have seen for a DIY shredder. It is not easy or for the faint of heart, but it is an amazing project if you enjoy hacking. In addition, it should be a robust and fun shredding device that displays your techy cred. We think even the hacking neophyte could learn some great skills for hardcore future projects, without breaking anything important.

(Top image: flickr member tamaksno, scissors image flickr member iriskh, flaming bbq image flickr member jo_appleby_cz, water in baggy photo Dave Dugale licensed under Creative Commons)

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