Do My Business Documents Need Proper Destruction Even If They are Wet?

Tue, May 13, 2014
By: Jim Beran
Do My Business Documents Need Proper Destruction Even If They are Wet?

Below is a guest blog by Lindsay Childs, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at BMS CAT. This is the second blog in a series of posts this month about preparing your documents for hurricane season and other natural disasters.

Approaching my second decade in the information industry it surprises me when customers aren’t aware that they need to properly destroy documents that are wet and/or damaged the same way they handle their day-to-day destruction documents. 

Out of curiosity, I typed in the word “document” into Google. Surely this would explain the confusion why someone would even question how to properly dispose of a wet or damaged document. 

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a document is: “An official paper that gives information about something or that is used as proof of something.”

Note that nothing was said about a document being either dry or wet.  A document is a document, wet or dry, new or old, covered in mud or neatly filed in a drawer. What this means is that any document that is being destroyed needs to be done so in compliance with the information protection laws. Throwing wet, damaged documents into a landfill or recycling can cost your company significantly and could be a PR nightmare!

We’ve established that wet or dry damaged documents still fall under the information protection laws and still need to be destroyed…no question! Let’s look at the three acceptable forms of destruction. 

  • Incineration is not a viable option for wet documents…wet paper doesn’t burn properly. 
  • Pulverizing in most circumstances isn’t practical either due to the small volume of material that would be pulverized. The facilities that pulverize would not be willing to accept such small volumes. 
  • Secure destruction is the only acceptable option. Wet paper can be processed and then destroyed to meet the compliance requirements.

Secure destruction is the only acceptable way to properly destroying wet, damaged documents.  Secure shredding can be done with the assistance of either Gilmore Services or BMS CAT to ensure that your wet and damaged documents are properly destroyed. 

Be sure to join us for the second live webinar, “Is Your Business Weatherproof? - Document Damage First Steps" on Wednesday, May 14 at 12:30pm Central Time to find out ways to prepare for a disaster and protect your documents.

Meet your disaster recovery team on Thursday, May 29 at So Gourmet Kitchenry, 407 South Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL. Take the opportunity to meet & greet your disaster recovery team in a relaxed setting before you have a crisis situation! Stop by between 5:30-7:30pm to meet BMS CAT and Gilmore Services, hors d'oeuvres and beer & wine provided.

Do you have questions?

We welcome you to contact our records management company to find out more about document shredding and records storage and disaster recovery services.