The data protection act requires that businesses have a clear process when it comes to the disposal of confidential waste which can be easily verified when audited.
When you use a secure waste destruction service, you will have a choice between having your waste securely destroyed onsite or offsite. Whichever you chose, it is still crucial to understand what happens to your confidential waste once it leaves your office.
This is the ideal situation, as having your waste destroyed at your workplace keeps you in control of the whole process. You’ll know that all compliance requirements have been met – because you’ll have seen it for yourself.
The waste management company will have a vehicle with its own shredder, so your sealed boxes or sacks will be loaded on to it without interference.
Once your confidential waste has been safely shredded, you will be issued with a Certificate of Destruction and a Waste Transfer Note. This is a crucial step that’s required by law and will be inspected as part of an in-house and independent auditing process.
Once the confidential waste is shredded, it’s now considered safe to bale and send to recycling centres.
If you choose to have your confidential waste securely destroyed offsite, the process will be similar. However, you will not be there to see it. A waste management representative will arrive and collect your full sealed boxes or sacks, loading them into the back of a locked container, and replacing them with empty (locked) containers or empty sacks and seals, depending on what you use.
The waste will then be taken to a secure location, in a van, where it will be shredded, baled and sent off for recycling in exactly the same way, and you will be issued with the same legal paperwork.
What about cross-contamination of waste?
It’s crucial to use clear signage so staff only put confidential waste into the specific bins. Plastic folders, envelopes and general rubbish could incur penalty fees, as the waste would have to be sorted by hand, increasing its vulnerability by exposure.