Host a Shred Your Document Day for Customers: Earth Day 2012

This Shred Your Documents Day sheet highlights some ideas that you should be thinking about to plan a successful event for Postal Service customers. The ideas listed below are not requirements for a Shred Your Documents Day, they are merely suggestions based on the previous year’s events. Make Shred Your Documents Day a customer outreach event connected to Earth Day. This special day should follow right after the end of tax season (i.e., April 17) and ideally be held within 1 to 3 weeks of Earth Day. Because it takes time to publicize this event, it does not need to occur on a specific day or week. The more flexible you are in the date selected, the more likely you will be able to identify a vendor capable of providing onsite or pick shredding services. It takes a group of people to carry out a successful Shred Your Docu­ments Day event. Consider who should be involved in the event, and find a person willing to help with the planning, including someone from Corporate Communications. While offering shredding services to USPS® customers will require funding, these costs can be controlled by limiting this event to a 4-hour event offered on a first-come first-served basis. If funding permits, an 8-hour “free shredding services” day will garner considerable public interest. Be sure to notify Postal Service customers well in advance so everyone can plan sufficient time to purge their documents from their home tax- and other privacy-related files. Arranging this event is as simple as following the seven-step instructions set forth below. Before initiating such an event, there are two prerequisites for success:

Step 1: Obtain facility management commitment.

Step 2: Identify a shredding vendor for this event. If your office already has shredding services, this is an easy step and requires nothing more than requesting an appropri­ately sized container to collect the documents to be shred­ded. Alternatively, shredding vendors can also offer mobile shredding services, and in 12 metropolitan areas you can access an existing shredding contract with Recall (See Where Can You Get More Information?). In all cases, be sure of the following:

n Vendor agrees to provide a secure container to pick up the shredded paper.

n Vendor provides guidance on privacy-protected doc­uments that customers should shred.

n The event is organized so as not to impact USPS mail operations.

n The vendor agrees to share data on the amount of shredded paper recycled.

Once the first two steps are done, there are only five more tasks to complete a successful event:

Step 3: Set a date and time for the Shred Your Docu­ments event. Remember you can hold this event after Earth Day if it is more convenient for you and your customers.

Step 4: Issue a news release to newspapers and radios and post it in the Post Office™ lobby.

Step 5: Identify a location inside or outside the Post Office where documents can be collected in a secure con­tainer. Alternatively, if you choose a mobile shredding ser­vice, locate the event in an area of the parking lot or other location not interfering with operations.

Step 6: Hold the Shred Your Documents Day as either a half-day or full-day event. There should be at least one per­son available to provide guidance on shredding proce­dures, coordinating customer participation, and managing the event logistics.

Step 7: Once the event is over, be sure the vendor is requested to pick up the secure container. If mobile shred­ding services are not offered, be sure to store the container in a secure location until the vendor picks it up. Request the vendor to provide a report on the tonnage of shredded paper collected and where it was recycled. Share the results with the USPS Office of Sustainability by emailing

Where Can You Get More Information?

Posters, notices, signs, placards, and questions and answers on hosting a successful Shred Your Documents Day are available for download at the Office of Sustainability web­site at This website also provides information on how to access Recall as a shredding service provider.