INDIAN RIVER COUNTY ― Each year, Indian River County holds several free residential paper shredding events. For the next one on Sat., Oct. 16 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Southeast Secure Shredding in Vero Beach, the county is looking to break its record.

“We’ve never had more cars than we had last time on April 17, and I’m hoping to beat that record,” Solid Waste Disposal District Recycling Education and Marketing Coordinator Sue Flak told Hometown News. “Please turn out and help us beat our previous record. If we could hit the 800 car mark, I would be really happy.”

“When we first started this event, we would get 200 cars. Last time we did 669 cars, and we collected 10.6 tons of paper that was diverted from the landfill. Any tonnage that we can divert from the landfill and recycle is awesome.”

If you want your shredded documents to be recycled, this is the easiest way to do it. Paper that you shred at home must go in the trash, not the recycling bin, because the county’s recycling system is not set up to process shredded paper. So paper you shred at home ends up in the landfill.

“Landfill diversion is important no matter what the waste is,” Ms. Flak said. “By diverting paper from the landfill, we save space, and we help the environment because we’re repurposing it into something new, which is what we should be doing.”

“Robb Lindsey, the owner of Southeast Secure Shredding, is very much into repurposing and recycling as much as possible. He’s a good partner. As the material is shredded throughout the day they create their bales; the machine that shreds the paper also processes it into bales. Then the bales are shipped out to be processed into the final product, which is toilet paper.”

This past year everybody has wanted more toilet paper due to pandemic shortages. Now we can all participate in increasing the supply of toilet paper.

Residents can go through the whole process without having to get face-to-face with anyone, which is especially good in these times of COVID.

“Southeast Secure Shredding has about 20 employees working that day, and they have a system,” Ms. Flak said. “They tell the people to not get out of the car. They open the trunk or backseat, wherever the documents are, and they take them out, wheel them in a bin right up the ramp and into the machine immediately. The whole process flows very well.”

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office is also a partner in the event.

“We have a lot of help from the Sheriff’s Department,” primarily with traffic control, Ms. Flak said. “Last time we had 250 cars within the first hour. They’re usually there waiting in line at 6:30 in the morning. So I tell people not to come right when it starts, because the line can be ridiculous.”

Ms. Flak says the paper shredding seems to become more and more popular every time.

“The community feels safer, and it makes them feel good to know it is being shredded on premise, so they don’t have to worry about it. The residents love it.”

“We give away little goody bags to people, including things like recycled pencils or pens, maybe some bottles of hand sanitizer. We put them in our reusable totes, which are really nice. My goal is to get one of those reusable totes into every single resident’s hands before I retire.”

The Solid Waste Disposal District has partnered with Waste Management to hold these events. As part of their MOU with the county, Waste Management pays $5 per car up to 800 cars, for three shredding events per year.

Residents can bring up to 35 pounds or three boxes of material to be securely shredded on site. Commercial business paper is not allowed at this event. The event is rain or shine.

Southeast Secure Shredding is located at 3910 US Hwy. 1, Vero Beach.

For more information, visit www.ircrecycles.com or call (772) 226-3212.

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