Where Do Shredded Personal Documents Go? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Where Do Shredded Personal Documents Go?

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Shredding personal documents is extremely important in this day and age. But what happens to those documents once they're shredded?

NBC Right Now visited CI Shred in Kennewick to find out. A huge silver truck held mountains of shredded paper.

"Billions of files. Billions of pieces of paper with people's personal information on it, business information that we're destroying securely and recycling," said director of operations Jeff Thompson.

Thompson estimates that CI Shred gets rid of four million pounds of confidential documents each year.

"Truly it's a deterrent for identity theft, letting your information from your company get in your competitor's hands, the wrong hands, whatever it may be. But identity theft Is one of the fastest growing crimes in America," said Thompson.

So what happens to your documents once they're shredded?

"Then we bail that. So we safely securely bail that. Big, 1,500 pound bails, really neat, so then we go right directly to a northwest pulp mill where it's being pulped," said Thompson.

The pulp mills the bails go to are in the northwest and then sell their partially recycled products right back to northwest stores.

"You're probably already using it. Paper towels in your kitchen. Office paper. It's probably used in your office," said Thompson.

So that roll of paper towels in your kitchen could very well be made up (partially) of your old shredded documents.