Living in Houston? Why You Should Shred Rather Than Burn

You may think shredding is fine for major corporations, but you don’t have enough to justify the expense.  After all, you can just burn whatever paper you need to get rid of.  But did you know Houston paper burning regulations actually prohibit rubbish fires in city limits? If you live in Houston and are thinking of burning papers or trash at home, you could be in for a hefty fine. 

There’s a reason there are commercial incinerator facilities for disposing of paper products.  Today’s paper waste is contaminated with heavy metals from inks as well as bleach and many other contaminants that have to be filtered out.  If you burn paper on your property, not only do you increase the risk of starting a major fire, you also release dioxins and other pollutants into the air:

  • Lung irritations
  • Skin irritations
  • Potential eye damage
  • Potential development problems in children
  • Increased cancer risks

Most paper used by Houston businesses has been bleached to obtain the desirable bright white color. When burned, the bleach is released as a toxic chemical.  This same paper has been printed with ink containing heavy metals by the time it is disposed of.  Other papers may have a glossy coating containing waxes, polymers, and other highly toxic compounds. 

Once papers are burned, the ash has to be disposed of in some way.  If it’s mixed into the soil, it contaminates the surrounding ground and can eventually leech into the ground water. 

Houston Paper Disposal Alternatives

There are alternatives to burning paper yourself.  You could send your waste paper to a Houston paper incinerator facility, but there’s no guarantee of the security of personal information with this procedure.  You would be sending documents with sensitive, private information to an off-site facility to be handled by people you don’t know.  You would have no control of how many people saw those papers or what the chain of ownership would be.  In fact, you would have no proof the documents were disposed of properly.  Although professional incineration may provide a cleaner alternative to private burning of documents, it doesn’t protect you from any potential legal problems if sensitive documents fall into the wrong hands.

There isn’t a truly safe or effective way to burn your company’s waste paper.  The only way to destroy documents that’s both environmentally responsible and 100% safe for you and your clients is through a Houston paper shredding service.  By using a shredding service that will shred your old documents on site, you can guarantee no private information is stolen or seen by prying eyes and you’ll feel better knowing the shredded documents will be recycled.  You’ll also receive a Certification of Destruction proving the documents were destroyed, protecting your business and giving you peace of mind - something burning cannot do.