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The Community House offers public chance to get rid of documents securely

By Staff | Apr 18, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED The Community House will host a Community Shredding Day on April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in the north lot, across the street from the facility. Cost is $5 per box or bag.

With Tax Day over this year, the islands have an opportunity to shred any sensitive documents.

The Community House on Sanibel will hold a Community Shredding Day on April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in its north lot, located across the street from the venue in front of the BIG ARTS Strauss Theater. The cost is $5 per box and bag, with residents and businesses welcome to dispose off their paperwork.

“We’ve been hosting it for a lot of years,” Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall said, adding that originally only two events were held annually. “But because there’s such a need, we’ve been doing it three times a year.”

The Community House first started offering the events because no one else did.

“There wasn’t anybody on island that was doing it, so people were hauling their stuff off island to shred it securely,” she said. “It’s a nice service for the community.”

For years, The Community House has relied on Secure Shredding, based out of Cape Coral.

“It’s a secure truck,” Riska-Hall said. “He does it all over the county.”

Participants are asked to take off any binder clips or large-sized paperclips.

“We always say make sure you remove those,” she said of the paperwork to be disposed off. “If it’s regular staples, they can just leave them in.”

There are no restrictions as to what type of paper can be shredded.

“We can shred it all,” Riska-Hall said.

There is a limit of four boxes or bags per person, but more is accepted with advance notice.

“Unless they call ahead,” she said of the cap.

With the same notice, companies will be permitted to dispose of multiple boxes or bags.

Riska-Hall asked, however, that businesses come toward the end of the event.

With the $5 donation, the event also serves as a mini-fundraiser.

“We make a little bit of money on it, which always helps out,” she said.

Last year, 73 vehicles took advantage of the April event and 89 took part in the one in July.

“We had 126 cars in January,” Riska-Hall said of the most recent shredding.

Participants are asked to enter via the driveway next to Dunlop Road. After pulling up in a vehicle, volunteers will help them remove their paperwork, which is thrown in the shredder on the truck.

Participants then exit via the driveway nearest to the Sanibel Bean.

“It makes it an easier flow for everybody,” she said.

Those who want to witness their paperwork being shredded are asked to park in the lot.

“If they are concerned about it being shredded, they can watch,” Riska-Hall said.

She added that asking people to park “keeps things flowing smoothly.”

Participants should not worry about getting to the event early.

“They’re not going to be ready to start until 9 a.m.,” Riska-Hall said.

She encouraged the community take advantage of the service.

“This is the perfect time for people who are getting rid of their taxes,” Riska-Hall said, adding that shredding old documents containing personal information helps to protect against identify theft.

For more information, call 239-472-2155 or visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.