The Shredder

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I was shredding some documents last night and it made me think back to why I got one of these things in the first place.

Many years ago, our municipality, came out with a new recycling program. We started with blue boxes, like most cities, then switched to clear and blue bags. The garbage would end up at a sorting facility where the staff would make sure the right stuff was in the right bags. Like all new processes, there were some bumps in the road, the wrong garbage in the wrong bags. This went on for a while when rumours starting surfacing that the ‘sorters’ could and would look through the offender’s bags for clues on who they were. Was it true? Who knows.

Not sure what the outcome of this search was. Did the offenders get their garbage back? A letter? A fine?. I wasn’t taking any chances so I bought a shredder, a low-end model that cut the paper into long strips.

Going forward, we shredded everything with our name on it. Eventually, after watching too many episodes of CSI investigators going through people’s garbage, we thought it a good security measure too.

Many years have passed, I was ready for a new machine. Something that reduced paper to confetti, a cross-cut model. My wife surprised me a couple years ago with a ‘professional grade’ shredder for Christmas. It was heavy, came with casters and reduced paper, credit cards, CDs and DVDs to dust! Well, not quite dust but smaller than confetti. There is a big window in the front with these blue LED’s that shine through the falling pieces while shredding. Watching it all happen is magical – like a snow globe you get to play with year round. You can load it with paper and walk away but I find myself drawn to the window, mesmerized. I’ve been known to shred blank paper when friends are over.

So I’ve gone from being worried about the ‘sorters’ finding my name in an incriminating bag of poorly recycled garbage to being concerned about security to just being fascinated by the shredding process.

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