To be honest, we don’t get much personal mail the the postal system. It tends to be bank statements, information from various Governmental organisations and stuff like that. The occasional holiday postcard might find it’s way in there, but not so often these days.
But what we do seem to get a lot of, is mail that is addressed to either one or both of us offering some kind of financial service. These usually get dumped along with the rest of the junk flyers. What we have seen a rise in, is post that includes an application form, where all our personal details are all ready completed. One such form came on Monday that had 4 pages (pages, 8 sides in total) that had my name and address in 6 places. All this information has to be, according to the ‘experts’ shredded to prevent dubious sorts getting hold of my details.
Now a big issue with shredding, is that the Local Authority is unable to recycle shredded paper as they claim “We do not collect shredded paper in the green recycling bins. This is because we are unable to process it due to the small fibers which can interfere with the machinery creating costly maintenance issues”. My email to them suggesting they look to upgrade their machinery (and their spellchecking software) seems to have fallen on deaf ears as I am yet to receive a reply. Their advice is to “only shredding the parts of documents that contain your personal details e.g. name, address etc” which makes the task significantly longer.
Then this morning, I received a item of post from an organisation (I’m not going to mention their name, as I’m awaiting a reply from them) that I had never heard of, that had my name and address on both pieces of paper. I was quite annoyed about this, as one of the sheets was asking for a donation. The donation range started at a single £5.00 increasing up £1000.00 and what really tipped the balance was that the £25.00 check box had already been ticked. The other page was one of those ‘sob stories’ that are supposed to trigger an emotional response. They don’t work with me I’m afraid.
I have emailed a complaint about this and asked them to remove my details from their database, and name the source of the information. I doubt that either will happen. I have also redacted my details from the 2 pages and have posted it all back to them in their enclosed pre-paid envelope.
There is an issue here. I/we get quite a lot of documents sent by the post that has personal information contained within the document. On the one hand, we are told by the financial sector, that we must destroy (I.e. shred) old documents that has this information yet on the other hand the Local Authority refuse department tell us that they “cannot accept shredded paper in the recycling bins, as it jams the (?) machinery”. Their advice is to either put the general waste bin or “it is good to put on your compost heap!” Now, I do not know how many people have a compost heap, especially those who live in tower blocks, but the amount we shred is far too much to compost. We have a ‘Hot Compost’ bin that we do put some of the shredding in, but that can only take about 5% of it’s volume in paper.
I know, I can get things like bank statements and the such as online documents, but there are some things, that you need as a physical copy for a length of time. Things such as mortgage agreements, hospital/doctors correspondence, old banking documents from before they were online etc. When my eldest sold his house, there were over 150 pages, from the bank that had some form of personal information on. Most of the sheets had this information in more than one place, making if difficult to just shred the important bits. Also, none of this includes the number of envelopes and packages that have names, addresses and often order numbers on.
I did make a suggestion to the refuse department that maybe, upon request, they could supply some form of bag that should be used for shredded paper. They would then be able to prevent this paper from ‘jamming’ their machine. I’m not holding out for a favourable response.
So what the Local Authority is saying is that if you do as the bank tells you, it will go into landfill. In my opinion, that is not good enough!
I have to say, that possibly one of the downsides of working for a Local Authority, is that getting rid of ‘dead wood’ is damn near impossible. People can be totally incompetent, and they seem to be untouchable. It’s everyone elses fault that they are useless. It is all put down to ‘a training issue’ and management has not trained them properly. Well that is the case sometimes, but when some takes a shortcut to allegedly save time, after being told not to, then that is not a training issue. That is a disciplinary issue !!!!
The council is looking to save money by cutting back on recruitment. Better way …. sack the crap and employ quality staff.