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How Does Iron Mountain Shred Service Work When Shredding Documents

I am a user of Iron Mountain services but I do not represent the company, nor am I trying to sell their record security services in any way.  I am just giving you a very basic overview of how their shredding service works.  Some people might not be sure what the process is for having documents destroyed by Iron Mountain, hopefully this will help give you a general idea. I strongly recomment contacting them though for more details. I'm just sharing how I see it based on my experience.

Iron Mountain is a company that helps other companies secure sensitive documents against information theft.  They typically deal with businesses and government documents that need to be kept from public view.  Two of the ways they do this is by storing sensitive documents at their secure facility.  The other way is by destroying documents.  I will discuss the destruction or shredding of the documents here.   This will be a real basic overview.

One service that Iron Mountain provides is the shredding of sensitive documents. There are a number of ways that Iron Mountain can service your shredding needs.  I'll just get into how they do it for my company.  
Essentially you set up a service agreement with Iron Mountain.  You'll set up a shredding account.  I won't bore you with details on this but there will be a contract involved.
Iron Mountain then provides you with containers that you will put in designated areas in your company.  You will get to choose the container that is right for you. The containers are locked and have a slot you can put documents into.  In this slot you will only put documents that you wish to get destroyed.  Documents you don't need destroyed can go into your common garbage (or normal recycling) bins.
The way it works is that you put your 'secret' documents into these bins. Once they are in the bin, no one can get them out without a key. Then Iron Mountain will come out either when called or on a set schedule and pick up the contents.  They then shred the contents.
At first you'll want to estimate how often your bins will fill up.  Your Iron Mountain representative can help you with this.  Try to estimate the right number of bins in the right locations.  Basically you'll want those bins to be close to full every time they come out, since you get charged a fee for every pick up.  At my company, I have them come out twice a month as it seems once a month the bins are overflowing and three times a month they don't get a chance to fill.  Your situation may differ .

If you accidentally throw out something you don't want destroyed (I had a guy lose his wallet in one of these bins) typically one or few people  at your company will be assigned a key and/or combination by Iron Mountain.  This key will allow access to the bins.

Iron Mountain then picks up as scheduled.  They either pick up the contents of the bins and destroy in a giant shredder right at your facility (called an "on-site" shred) or they pick up the contents and take the contents away to an Iron Mountain facility for shredding (called an "off-site" shred)

That is basically how it works. There are more nuances to this but that is the gist of how Iron Mountain's shredding service works when shredding documents.

I wrote a couple articles that will be helpful to those who already use Iron Mountain and linked them below.  Some tips on using IM Connect, which is Iron Mountains on line customer service system.

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  1. this one's really interesting! I'll be following your site for more of this. thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. Also suggestions more about shredders are helpful. I hope you will be posting more of that. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for all the information on Iron mountian, do they do a shredding truck collection or provide shredder to their clients?

  4. Hi! They come out with a shred truck and collect the documents and shred them. Thanks for the comment (sorry for the way, belated response :-)

  5. Hi Turtle Dog,

    I have certainly heard of Iron Mountain and therefore think they would make a reputable company but I know they can be quite a bit more expensive than other firms. What should I look for in terms of their legal credentials in a good shredding company?


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  7. Nice blog! Thanks for sharing.This blog is very informatics.
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  8. Nice blog!Document Shredding is a safe and secure way of protected valuable data and information from getting into the hands of the wrong people. It is also a great way to contribute to helping the environment.
    Document destruction service