Document Shredding vs. Burning: Which Is Better?

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document shredding vs burning

Shredding documents has many advantages over burning. In most cases, shredding is proven to be more secure, safer, more environmentally friendly, more efficient, and easier than burning.


The certified shredding industry has a proven track record for security and compliance. When a professional shredding company is handling and destroying your documents, you receive chain-of-custody reporting and are assured that the documents are completely destroyed beyond possible recovery. You also have the option to witness the destruction firsthand, at your own location, with on-site mobile shredding services. On the other hand, in many cases you cannot witness the burning destruction process if it is done by another party, and burning large quantities of paper may leave sections of paper unburnt, similar to how fire burns through a log. This leaves the door open for your sensitive information to be recovered and stolen. 

Safety & Legality

Starting a fire to burn your own documents can be dangerous, and in many cases, illegal. With the increasing threat of droughts and uncontained fires, there is mounting attention to the risks of starting fires. Creating a makeshift fire will not only create a legal risk for your business, but it will also risk lives. Shredding, by comparison, is clean, safe, and secure. It is also done by a trained professional with experience in safety protocols. 

Environmentally Friendliness

Burning paper causes pollution by releasing harmful gases into the environment and by creating ash which can contain toxic residue. On the other hand, shredded paper will be recycled and reused as new paper products. This process helps your business meet its green initiatives. 

Speed & Timing

Mobile shred trucks and off-site shredding facilities can shred thousands of pounds of paper per hour. There is no faster or efficient way to destroy sensitive information. 

Ease & Accessibility

Shredding your documents is the easiest and most accessible way to destroy your confidential information. Guard Docs’ local shredding teams are nearby and ready to service you at your convenience. It has never been easier to book a shredding project on our website or over the phone. We are confident that our service is easier to use and more accessible than locating and scheduling a burn service.

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