BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — On May 3, a line of cars — full of all manner of documents — waited patiently at the Clifton Park Center Mall parking lot for the clock to strike 1 p.m., marking the beginning of the town’s Shredding Day.
This event began about seven years ago and has taken place bi-annually ever since. “I had heard more and more that with identity theft and all the issues surrounding that, that there was a definitive need for this type of service,” Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said.
“Shredding Day is important because it gives our residents an opportunity to safely dispose of sensitive documents in a secure manner,” Councilwoman Amy Standaert said. “People can see their documents shredded on-site and feel confident and protected.”
At first, town officials didn’t know how people would react and how popular this event would be.
“When you start something new like this — and we have many new programs that we have started over the last dozen years or so — you’re never quite sure what the participation rate is going to be,” Barrett said. “From the very first Shredding Day it was clear from the response that it’s a service that many people were eager to take advantage of; we are more than happy to provide this twice a year.”
Aside from shredding, people are encouraged to come with food donations for the Jonesville Pantry. Some people came through the line without anything to shred, they simply wanted to make a donation.
Barrett knew the Neville family, which owns 3N Document Destruction, and he sought out their partnership. “They provide the service free of charge; we very much appreciate them taking time out of a Sunday,” Barrett said. “We thank them very much for donating their service twice a year and when we get all of the food together that’s donated — which is always over 1,200 pounds — and they take it on the truck tonight and deliver it for us to the Jonesville Pantry, they’ve gone above and beyond.”
A large truck was constantly shredding on site. Individuals were able to view their documents being disposed of; the truck included a small camera screen so, if one needed confirmation that the task was completed, they could park, exit their car and watch the sheets of paper transform into strips. “That truck is going at full tilt the entire two hours,” Barrett said with a chuckle.
Those who don’t want to watch needn’t step out of their vehicles; instead, volunteers come right up to their window and haul the boxes and bags of items to be shredded right to the truck. “We can always count on a very strong volunteer presence at all of the town events and Shredding Day is no different,” Barrett said.
“I think our residents enjoy it because it a convenient service offered to them to help make their lives easier,” Standaert said. “We do the heavy lifting for them, and all we ask is for them to bring some non-perishable food donations for our local food pantry.”
She continued: “As Chairwoman of the GREEN Committee, who sponsors this shredding day, I would like to see this program continue in the future; 3N Document Destruction has been great partners with us on this initiative and I appreciate their service to our community and hope they too will continue helping us in this initiative.”