UNION COUNTY — Some Union County residents not only helped protect themselves from identity theft by recycling more than four tons of paper they also received coupons for a free burger at a local restaurant.
Channel 7’s “Caring for the Carolinas” and “Shred Away” brought the fourth of four September “shred-a-thons” to Union Tuesday afternoon. The event, which was held in the parking lot next to the Hardee’s restaurant, was designed to give local residents the opportunity to safely dispose of documents to prevent the information they contain from falling into the hands of identity thieves.
“With identity theft such a problem we’re just trying to encourage people to come out and get rid of personal documents and information,” Shred Away Service Representative James Malone said. “It’s better to bring it here than throw it in the trash.”
Hardee’s is a sponsor of Caring for the Carolinas and Frances Burgess, the company’s regional marketing manager, was on hand Tuesday to present residents who brought paper in for shredding with a free certificate for an Original Thickburger as well as other coupons. Burgess also emphasized the importance of disposing of personal information in a safe and secure manner.
“We’re trying to encourage people to protect their identity,” Burgess said. “This is a free service we do twice a year.”
Tuesday’s shred-a-thon was the fourth and final event scheduled for September. Two of the other three shred-a-thons were held at Hardee’s restaurants in Greenville and Spartanburg while the third was held at Bathfitter in Duncan.
Bathfitter is also a sponsor of Caring for the Carolinas which conducts the shred-a-thons and other community events.
Malone and fellow Shred Away Service Representative Kevin Hawley placed trash cans to take the documents and personal papers brought by local residents. Once these were full they were emptied into the Shred Away “mobile destruction trucks” which immediately ground up the documents. The company then takes the ground up documents to a recycler which recycles it into paper. That product is then turned over to other firms which use it to make items such as toilet tissue.
Brad Ward, one of the owners of Shred Away, said that in addition to helping protect the public’s personal information from identity theft, disposing of the documents and other personal information in this manner is good for the environment.
“Yesterday we processed two truckloads which is roughly 9,000 pounds between the two trucks,” Ward said Wednesday. “To break that down that was 4 1/2 tons of paper recycled. For every ton of paper recycled you’re saving 13 trees from being cut down.”
Ward said the company is based in Boiling Springs and Piedmont. He said it has nine mobile trucks for on-site shredding and three collection trucks. The locally-owned company services the Upstate and parts of North Carolina and Georgia.
“We have a truck often in Union,” Ward said. “We serve many local customers. Anyone who needs our services can call us at 864-430-9024.”