Free Shred Day helps protect personal information

Free Shred Day is Saturday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to noon at the WATE 6 On Your Side studios.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – WATE 6 On Your Side is working with ShredPro Secure, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Special Investigations Bureau/Identity Crimes Unit, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and 93.1 WNOX to provide a free document shredding event. Any unwanted paper can be safely and securely discarded into shredding trucks in the WATE parking lot, 1306 North Broadway, Saturday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to noon.

More: Identity Theft Resources

What material can be shredded?

All types of office paper and materials are accepted.  This includes but is not limited to folders, checks, receipts, legal records, medical records, computer printouts, and personnel files.

There is no need to remove rubber bands, staples, paper clips, or any other light metal fasteners. The shredders are equipped to shred anything designed to hold paper together.

Cardboard boxes, plastic bags, and other receptacles for transporting materials will be returned.

Related: ShredPro helps keep your personal information secure

What to expect?

Participants of the event should enter from Broadway and pay close attention to the TDOT signs and Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers who will be directing traffic.  During the busiest times, the line may extend beyond the WATE property and vehicles will need to wait in the middle turn lane so as not to block traffic on Broadway.

Related: Free Shred Day frequently asked questions

Cars will be directed to one of the lines in the back parking lot where volunteers will help empty your material into the shred bins.  Vehicles will then exit the property on Luttrell.

We will move everyone through as quickly as possible.  The wait times may be 10-40 minutes depending on traffic volume.  The per vehicle limit on material will be enforced so that we may serve as many people as possible.

Previous story: Big crowds come to toss out personal documents safely at Shred Day

How much paper will be accepted?

Each vehicle can bring up to 3 Bankers Boxes or small trash bags worth of shred material.  Bankers Boxes measure 10″ x 12″ x 15″ in size.  Boxes, crates, and totes that are a close approximation of size will be counted as one box, larger boxes will be counted as 2 or 3 boxes.  Typical kitchen size 13-gallon trash bags are considered small.  Large outdoor or industrial trash bags will be counted as more than one bag.

In order to serve as many people as possible with this event, limits will be enforced.  Our volunteers will do their best to make a fair judgement call on the amount of paper accepted from each vehicle.  We ask that participants be respectful of the limits so that we may keep the event flowing.

Does material have to be in boxes?

People can bring their paper in whatever receptacle they have.  It will be transferred into a container that hooks onto the shred truck.  We will return boxes, bags or crates to the person who brought them.

What to shred? When?

According to Consumer Reports, bank statements should be kept on file for one year for tax filing purposes, while tax records should be kept for seven years before shredding.

It is also recommended that receipts for large purchases be kept on file for the duration of ownership. Shredding of documents like old credit cards, receipts, tax forms, and other documents containing personal information is vital for preventing your identity from being stolen.

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