How does on-site document shredding work?

Every day, businesses generate documents that need to be processed. After processing, these documents may need to be retained if they are subject to legal retention periods. These periods specify how long the records must be archived for tax, commercial, or other purposes, and vary depending on the type of document. After the expiration of these retention periods, personal data must be deleted or destroyed in accordance with Article 17 of the GDPR.

Since company-owned documents often contain sensitive and confidential information, their destruction must be reliable and compliant with data protection regulations. Depending on the type of data, the legislator has defined specific requirements (see § 203 of the German Criminal Code). In practice, the responsible parties (contracting entities) can refer to the industry standard DIN 66399, which describes the technical and organizational requirements, depending on the destruction method (mobile or stationary), the level of information protection required, and the form of data storage.

Ensuring secure disposal of documents

Sensitive documents should never be casually disposed of in office trash bins, as confidential information could fall into the wrong hands. Documents to be destroyed should preferably be placed in designated security containers, which can be requested from a service provider like Rhenus Data Office. Rhenus ensures the proper disposal of documents through two common destruction methods: on-site document shredding and document shredding after collection.

On-site document shredding

The higher the level of data protection required, the less companies want to hand them over. With on-site document shredding, this is not necessary because the documents are literally shredded "on-site" and do not have to leave the company premises. Experienced service providers like Rhenus Data Office offer such a service. The destruction of documents takes place in a specialized Rhenus vehicle with an integrated shredding unit. Depending on the volume and frequency of documents generated, document shredding can be done as a one-time event or at regular intervals.

Security in the process

The security containers, in which the material to be destroyed was stored, are opened only inside the specialised vehicle using an automated compressed air mechanism, without any human access. This ensures that the sensitive documents go directly from the container to a shredding unit integrated into the truck body, where they are shredded. This method is suitable for materials classified as Security Level 3 according to DIN 66399-2, with permissible security levels of P-4 and P-5. The vehicles can also be used for the destruction of magnetic, electronic, and optical data carriers. On request, the destruction of hard drives can also be carried out on-site.

After emptying, the security containers are returned to the company for collecting further documents, and Rhenus transports the shredded material to the nearest Rhenus security facility, where it is further processed in compliance with the waste hierarchy.

Documents requiring destruction according to the DIN 66399 security levels P-6 or P-7 can also be destroyed on-site. In this case, a different specialised Rhenus vehicle called the Mobile Pulper is used. The documents to be destroyed are dissolved in water in a device called a "pulper" until they reach the fiber level. This ensures that the documents cannot be reconstructed.

The advantages at a glance

• Quick destruction
The documents are rapidly and securely destroyed. The client does not need to allocate personnel resources, but they can always oversee the destruction process. However, the presence or participation of a client representative is not mandatory.

• On-site destruction
Documents do not need to be transported from the client's location to a destruction facility (such as Rhenus Data Office).

• Security and data protection
The processes, vehicles, and facilities of Rhenus Data Office GmbH are certified according to DIN 66399 and comply with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, § 203 of the German Criminal Code, and the guidelines for handling classified information according to the BSI guideline M50.

On-site destruction by Rhenus Data Office - order directly online

On-site document destruction can be easily and quickly ordered online. Subsequently, a customer service representative from Rhenus Data Office will contact you to arrange a suitable appointment. Rhenus will then bring the appropriate destruction vehicle (mobile shredder or mobile pulper) to the designated location and securely destroy the material, certified and safe. Afterwards, the company will receive a destruction certificate confirming proper disposal.

On-site destruction – with Rhenus

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