Are there environmentally friendly shredder features?

posted this on Jul 22, 2015

 Consumers everywhere are becoming more concerned with going green. But how much can you really do that in an office environment where everything is electronic? While some energy use is necessary, you can choose equipment that minimizes your consumption. One piece of machinery often found in any business is a paper shredder. Here are some features to look for that will keep your workplace environmentally friendly.

  • Lower energy consumption. Many models offer an automatic start feature. This turns on the machine when items are inserted into the feed instead of running it continuously. Additionally, at least one brand of shredders on the market provides an idle state that doesn’t use extra electricity. This allows the machine to run only when needed.
  • Automatic shut off. A large portion of electricity in any office is wasted on powering unused machines. Many shredders are equipped with an automatic shut off. These devices are programmed to turn off the motor after sitting idle for a certain amount of time.
  • Separate waste compartments. Shredders today can accommodate a variety of items other than paper. However, these items most often can’t go into the recycle bin. The greenest machines offer segregated waste for paper and plastic remnants. The staples and paperclips that sometimes end up with paper waste are fine to recycle. Different bins allow you to easily toss the plastic and recycle the paper.
  • Recyclable or reusable shred bags. Single use plastic bags are on their way out in our increasingly environmentally conscious society. Today’s shredders often come with a reusable bag. Some are outfitted to work with recyclable paper bags. Whether you choose to reuse or recycle, either option reduces the amount of waste in our landfills.
  • Reusable shred bin. Even better than a recyclable bag is a bin you can reuse. This further decreases the amount of shredding accessories needed. Simply empty the shred bin into your recycling container and replace the bin back into the waste compartment.
  • Renewable materials. Look for a machine housed in a wooden cabinet. Wood is a much more renewable resource than the heavy steel or plastics used to create office equipment. Wood will break down quicker once discarded. And as an added bonus, the wood will act as a noise reducer by absorbing sound waves put out by the motor.
  • Lifetime warranty. A machine built to last will need replacing much later than a cheap device. High quality steel blades are designed to shred for 20 years or more. With a model you can use for years, you’ll save money on costly repairs or replacement while saving a landfill from one more clunky machine.
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