Home How to Properly Dispose of Classified Documents

How to Properly Dispose of Classified Documents

How to Properly Dispose of Classified Documents

Classified information is the materials that a government body claims as sensitive information that requires protection. If you are imagining some Mission Impossible type scenario, you’d be spot on! To each agency, company, and individual, classified information can differ, but in any case, it is information that can be damaging if released to the public — national war plans, proprietary blueprints, personal medical or financial records. Each agency or company may have different policies and regulations about how to handle, store, and dispose of classified information, but there are a few standard ways to dispose of classified documents that work for whatever your situation may be. Here, we will discuss the common forms of paper — documents, maps, blueprints, files, plans — classified.


Shredding is the most common method for paper destruction. Shredding is a quick, easy, efficient way to destroy paper in any form. There are many styles of shredders that are useful for various projects. For instance, your standard office shredder is good to shred anything that you may not want to just toss in the trash can. However, it will make symmetrical strips of paper that can be put back together with some effort. A cross shredder, on the other hand, slices the paper in different directions, making little flakes of paper, making it nearly impossible to piece back together. Once the paper is shredded, it can be mixed in the bag to make it even more difficult to re-piece. It is recommended to shred a combination of classified and unclassified information.


Incineration is a classic way to destroy anything down to ash to prevent any possibility to reconstruct whatever is burned. Incineration can be done on the small scale in metal bins or in professional incineration facilities for massive amounts of paper classified information. Some professional shredding companies will send the shredded pieces to an incinerator to be burned after it is shred.

Wet Pulping

Wet pulping is a process used to destroy water-soluble materials, such as paper. Wet pulping is preferred over incineration because the wet pulp can then be recycled to make new paper products. To accomplish wet pumping, water-soluble products are placed in water-soluble containers and saturated until the paper products are a soggy pulp.

Chemical Decomposition

Chemical decomposition is a process that is rarely used. The process is similar to wet pulping but is done on materials that are not water soluble. Chemicals are used to “eat” the non-water soluble materials and separate the materials into smaller compounds. This method is not ideal as it can be dangerous and produces hazardous materials that must then be disposed of properly.


Pulverizing is the ideal way to dispose of non-water soluble products. Pulverizing is also known as dry-grinding and is used to destroy many types of materials. Pulverizing facilities use a variety of methods to help crush, cut, grind, and otherwise disintegrate materials beyond recognition and reconstruction. This is ideal for multimedia storage of classified information.

When you handle classified information, your reputation (and legal status) depends on you safeguarding the information from inception to destruction. If you need a trusted shredding company in Santa Maria, choose Shred 2 You. We are certified to handle classified documents and can shred your documents on-site to put you at ease. We are able to handle single-home shredding needs as well as full industry needs. We can pick up your shred containers to shred and dispose of documents at our secure warehouse or we offer mobile shredding options as well. When you need to make sure that your documents are properly disposed of, trust Shred 2 You! Call for your free estimate today!

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