Confidential waste shredding – the secret role of four shaft technology

confidential waste

Confidential waste – in its many forms – is a complex material stream to handle, given the stringent compliance criteria that surround its destruction. Single shaft shredders have often been considered the ‘go to’ solution for this application, but savvier operators – who care about compliant data destruction, better recycling performance AND profitability – actually turn to four shaft machines. 

Here, Peter Streinik from UNTHA shredding technology, explores why…

‘Confidential waste’ itself is a broad term, which encompasses a variety of different materials ranging from sensitive paper documentation, to electronic files, hard drives and other secure media. Even the postal returns labels on ecommerce retailers’ products constitutes confidential waste, for example.  

Each of these material types need to be securely handled and destroyed to prevent the breach of data, and any consequential financial and/or reputational risks associated with non-compliance.

Given the stringent rules and regulations that govern the handling of these material streams, confidential waste specialists naturally look for destruction solutions – such as industrial shredders – that provide complete peace of mind. The data must be completely destroyed beyond recognition.

Single shaft shredders can get through large amounts of confidential materials at high speeds. But these throughputs come with their challenges.

If sensitive paper documentation, for example, is shredded at a high speed, this can create unnecessary volumes of dust, which jeopardises the quality of the working environment and can even cause a fire risk. The higher speeds notoriously destroy the fibre quality of the paper too, which limits the onward recycling potential of the material.

Compare this to a slower speed, high torque four shaft shredder on the other hand. High torque means that a greater volume of material can be processed without the need to operate at a faster speed, thus protecting throughput expectations. This slower speed also protects the quality of the paper fibre, meaning it has much greater recycling potential. 

Four shaft shredders also shred and re-shred the input material in a single pass, with a ‘mixing’ action for added security. The shredded output material is so ‘jumbled’ that any sensitive information is completely destroyed. Interchangeable screens also mean the particle size can be regulated with ease, ensuring a homogenous fraction that meets even the most stringent security requirements.

UNTHA’s four shaft confidential waste shredders are DIN 66399 certified, up to security level 3, and for P (paper), O (optical), H (hard drives), F (film based products), T (magnetic data carriers), and E (electronic data carriers) classifications. There are several robust, highly configurable solutions in our range, to suit varied customer requirements, from compact but high performance models, through to large and ultra heavy duty alternatives.

To discuss your confidential waste shredding requirements, or our experience in this field, please contact or 0330 056 4455.

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