Declutter and Protect Your Identity: How to Take Advantage of Free Paper Shredding this Weekend

“Cutting head of a paper shredder” by wdwd is licensed under Creative Commons

One of the great, relatively unknown benefits of living in Hudson County is the free services provided. One of those services, the semiannual mobile shredding sponsored by the Hudson County Improvement Authority, will be available to all Hudson County residents this weekend, but will be especially convenient for Bayonne and south Jersey City. The shredding will take place on the lower level at Stephen R. Gregg Park near the 48th Street and John F Kennedy BLVD entrance from 9 AM – 2 PM on Saturday, September 9th.

The event is a convenient and free way to easily clear out and destroy your personal or confidential papers that have been building up over the months that you no longer need. Shredding personal and confidential documents is an easy way to reduce your chance of identity theft. Also, the event is much, much, easier than doing the shredding yourself. Have you ever tried shredding your own confidential documents in a shredder? Personal shedders typically only handle a few pages at time, prone to frequently jamming, and have limited capacity before the discard bin reached fills up. Trust us, this event makes it much easier. Just drive up and drop off!

 Documents will be commercially shredded safely, privately, and properly by trained, licensed and bonded document destruction specialists. You can bring your documents in whatever type of container they wish. Please note that this event is for residents only. Businesses are not eligible.

The Hudson County Improvement Authority notes items not meant for shredding include magazines, newspapers, books, binders, and binder clips. There is a 40-pound weight limit to how much they can accept.

Location of paper shredding event in Stephen H Gregg Park.
Location of paper shredding event in Stephen R. Gregg Park. Photo Credit: Google Maps

What should I shed?

Not everything. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are some documents you’ll want to hold forever such as a Birth Certificate or Social Security Card. Others are time or possession limited. For example, documents that support a tax return should be held for seven years, while documents such as your auto title or those detailing home improvements should be kept as long as you own your car or home. Documents that can be shredded more frequently are paid credit card or utility bills, expired warranties, and expired IDs.  Also, pay stubs can be shredded once you’ve cross checked the information with your W-2.

Nothing to shred? Tips to plan for spring’s event

If you have nothing to shed this time, given all the paper we receive, you will likely have opportunities to accumulate some by the time the spring event comes to Bayonne. You will want to start collecting the documents in a space that you will remember, but that is inaccessible to roommates or visitors. Ideally this is locked cabinet, but not everyone may have such a place, so consider other spots in your home. Also, make sure to check the Bayonne city calendar. The shredding events are posted on the city calendar and happen in the fall and spring. If you miss the event, there are several throughout spring and fall at parks in Hudson County, although not as convenient as this one.