ShredEX Fights Identity Theft in Valdosta

Barbara Kieker

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in the United States. Nine million Americans have had their identity stolen, according to the Better Business Bureau, which can lead to months or even years spent restoring credit records and reputations.

“It’s so important that people protect their identity by always shredding their personal information. Even items like junk mail can be used by people who are looking to steal your identity,” reported Britt Garwood, general manager of ShredEX in Valdosta.

ShredEX is a document destruction company that is certified AAA for onsite document destruction by the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID). As part of its certification, ShredEX is subject to surprise audits that verify the company meets all security, insurance and confidentiality agreements.

The company operates three trucks out of the Albany location and has six employees that serve the South Georgia Area. The trucks visit client locations including hospitals, medical offices, law offices, banks, other businesses and residences and pick up any documents to be destroyed. The documents are shredded on the truck to dime- or quarter-sized pieces. At the ShredEX secure office/warehouse, the shredded paper is formed into one-ton bails that are then transported to mills for recycling.

Growth in Destruction

ShredEX experienced strong growth in 2011 despite the slow economy. In fact, the recession was actually good for their business.

“As companies shut down they have to purge all the documents they have so that actually creates business for us. Plus more businesses are realizing they need secure document destruction,” Garwood explained.

Many businesses are required by law to take reasonable action to protect the information in their possession. For example the medical community is required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) to protect patient medical records. The Georgia Identify Theft Law requires companies to “shred, erase, or modify” all personal information before disposal.

Garwood expects continued growth in 2012. More people and businesses recognize a growing need to protect data. He said, “We plan to double our customer base not just in southwestern Georgia but in our other locations across the state.”

Lowering Environmental Impact

In addition to guarding against identity theft, document destruction is good for the environment. Once paper has been shredded beyond recognition, it is recycled. Every ton of paper sent to a mill for recycling is one less ton sent to a landfill.

“The mills turn the shredded paper into recycled paper, insulation and a lot of other products. The list is a mile long,” Garwood said.

Any paper being thrown away can be placed in a ShredEx bin. The recommended list for shredding includes payroll stubs, account information, budgets, legal documents, financial statements, design ideas, trade secrets or any other confidential information.

More information on ShredEX is available at or call Britt Garwood at (229) 854-2054.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.