Calculate The Cost of Using Your Office Shredder

If you’re a business professional who thinks that “feeding the office shredder” is a cost effective way to protect your clients, customers or patients from identity theft and the unauthorized disclosure of private information…then we’d like to challenge you to calculate your own costs, to see just how much money “do it yourself shredding” is costing you...

An Office Shredder Costs a Lot More Than You’d Think

To illustrate, let’s take a look at a typical business office. When they decided to start shredding they purchased a shredder at an office supply store for $185. The chart below shows how much it cost this business to operate their office shredder.


Office shredder cost analysis Sample Your Numbers
Number of Employees 5.00 1.00
*Shred Time (Minutes per day for each employee 3.00 7.00
Total Daily Shred Time (Minutes) 15.00 7.00
Average Hourly Wage (including benefits 16.19 18.00
Total daily shred time (hours) 0.25 0.25
Number of Work Days per Month 21.67 21.67
Number of hours per month employees shred 5.42 5.42
Total Monthly Labor Cost to Shred 87.71 97.52
Purchase Price of Shredder 185.00 185.00
Shredder Life Expectancy (Number of Months) 36.00 36.00
Monthly Depreciation Cost 5.14 5.14
Monthly Maintenance Cost 4.73 4.73
Total Monthly Equipment Cost 9.87 9.87
Total Labor Cost 87.71 97.52
Total Equipment Cost 9.87 9.87
Total Monthly Cost of Office Shredder 97.58 107.38

* Includes time to pick up paper, straighten pages, feed shredder, clean up and paper disposal

A Typical Business Office Will Spend $97.58 a Month

In our example, there are five employees that use the office shredder during the course of a day, each averaging about three minutes of daily shred time or 15 minutes total per day for the entire office. (Remember shred time is not just the amount of time the shredding machine manufacture claims it takes to shred paper. One must also include the time to sort the documents, walk from the work area to the shredder, pick up and straighten the paper, feed the paper into the shredder and clean up any paper residue and when necessary, dispose of the shredded paper.)

Since the average hourly wage of their employees, plus benefits is $16.19. The total monthly labor cost to operate an office shredder is $87.71. Factor in depreciation and maintenance costs (shredding blades must be sharpened) the total cost of operating their office shredder is $97.58 per month.

How Much is that Office Shredder Costing You?

Now your costs will be different based upon how much you shred, your average hourly wage, initial cost of the shredder, etc. But the fact is that using an office shredder costs twice as much as a monthly pickup by a shredding service… and saving money isn’t even the best reason to use a shredding service.

Additional Risks of Doing it Yourself:

  • Self shredded material then tossed in the trash, only tells the thief what to take
  •  Employees don’t like to use shredders; instead opting to toss in the garbage
  • Shredding yourself provides no record of compliance
  • Employees should not handle some sensitive information
  • Office Shredders break down!
  • Office Shredders won't help you with large records purges.
  • Offfice Shredders can't handle some materials

Not sure what to shred? Click here for a helpful list.

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