MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — It's spring cleaning season, and that means tossing or recycling things we don't need. Among the things we may need to get rid of: old papers we don't need, like mail or documents.
But you don't want to just toss sensitive documents away in the trash bin. If you have a lot of documents and don't have easy access to a shredder, you may be wondering what your options are.
Good news: Mecklenburg County Solid Waste has a free event just for you.
On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the department is hosting a Shredding Day Event at the Compost Central Recycling Center, located on Valleydale Road just off of Rozzelles Ferry Road in northwest Charlotte. Shredding Day lasts from 9 a.m. through noon, but you'll need to sign up for a time slot to bring your papers for shredding.
Jess Smithberger, the director of solid waste for Mecklenburg County, says the center is a key resource for the community.
"This facility is important because it gives residents and small businesses the opportunity to conveniently dispose of materials that they may have around their house or business," he said.
When you sign up, you'll need to pick a time slot to visit, and Smithberger said to make sure to bring your paper waste in no more than four 12x12x12 inch file boxes. Don't bring the paper in plastic bags, either; you can bring them in plastic banker boxes, however.
Smithberger also stresses that shredding documents, especially ones with sensitive information, is a safeguard to protecting your identity and privacy. Simply tossing those papers away in your trash bin can open you up to all sorts of security risks.
"You have things that might have your Social Security number or account information that you don't want anybody else to ever see. Bring them out here," he said.
If you can't make it this Saturday, there's another opportunity for free shredding on June 18.
Beyond paper shredding, the compost center is also a great place for aspiring gardeners and weekend warriors to drop off yard waste and even buy bags of mulch.
"Everything from leaves and grass and yard trimmings to used motor oil, fluorescent light bulbs -- they're trash and they recycle," said Smithberger. "We take wood material, brush, leaves, and grass, and we turn it into a wonderful organic compost."