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Thread: Burning Papers

  1. #31
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    I've destroyed papers in a 5-gallon bucket with water and a paint-mixing drill attachment. It works well as long as you have nothing but paper. You can then recycle it, make fireplace logs or let it rot. The problem was that there was too much that's not paper. Even if you carefully sort out the envelopes, paper clips and staples, there's all kinds of plastic tape, address labels, stickers, etc.

    We have boxes of old business records that can be discarded but it's too much for the periodic free shredding or for us to feed through the shredder. Question: do you need a screen to keep flaming pieces of paper from flying out of the barrel?
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 09-22-2021 at 5:36 PM.

  2. #32
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    I would suggest the old drop in the ocean mentality is problematic. Think instead what if 100 million people did it?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Hilbert Jr View Post
    There are ways to scan "shreds" and use a computer to put them back together if a crook were really determined. .
    True but there would have to be a really, really, really good reason for someone to go to that kind of trouble with someone's household trash...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    I would suggest the old drop in the ocean mentality is problematic. Think instead what if 100 million people did it?
    OK. I removed the problematic statement.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Rutherford View Post
    OK. I removed the problematic statement.
    Thanks.....

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Rutherford View Post
    I've destroyed papers in a 5-gallon bucket with water and a paint-mixing drill attachment. It works well as long as you have nothing but paper. You can then recycle it, make fireplace logs or let it rot. The problem was that there was too much that's not paper. Even if you carefully sort out the envelopes, paper clips and staples, there's all kinds of plastic tape, address labels, stickers, etc.

    We have boxes of old business records that can be discarded but it's too much for the periodic free shredding or for us to feed through the shredder. Question: do you need a screen to keep flaming pieces of paper from flying out of the barrel?
    The regulations here are to have a screen on the top. The size of the holes in the screen are not specified.

    Feeding loose papers will definitely make some hot pieces float into the air. Burning bound material, not so much. I usually start a fire with cardboard, dump in all my loose papers, then put wood scraps on top. That takes care of most ember problems.

    I don't use a screen when I'm standing there watching since I'm usually feeding material and can track and run down any flying embers that threaten to land. I put a screen the top on when I walk away. I use a two overlapping screens of 1/2" hardware cloth. I wait until the fire dies down some since intense quickly heat destroys a screen made from hardware cloth. Some day I'll fabricate one from closely spaced 1/4" rods or thin angle iron (I have a huge stock of that on hand).

    I like to burn when the ground is wet after a rain or in the morning dew. If I have to burn in the fall when leave are down I clear a large radius with a rake.

    Either way, I prefer to burn at dusk or dark so I can easily see and track any burning embers. Never burned anything unintended, knock on wood.

    Note: the heat is so intense that it will damage any overhanging branches, even if fairly high.

    JKJ

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Rutherford View Post
    We have boxes of old business records that can be discarded but it's too much for the periodic free shredding or for us to feed through the shredder.
    What kind of quantity are you talking about? Commercial document shredding is about $1/lb here. IMHO, that wouldn't become cost-prohibitive until long after the sheer hassle required would make burning out of the question. And if you're really cheap, you can spend the time to sort out the forms/boilerplate/etc that typically make up 50%-75% of the pile.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    What kind of quantity are you talking about? Commercial document shredding is about $1/lb here. IMHO, that wouldn't become cost-prohibitive until long after the sheer hassle required would make burning out of the question. And if you're really cheap, you can spend the time to sort out the forms/boilerplate/etc that typically make up 50%-75% of the pile.
    I'll admit to cheap but mostly it's convenience. We have 2 lifetimes of accumulated personal stuff and records and also bunches of client records. Probably not more than 15-20 boxes when it's sorted, but it's not yet. We've been through some of it but there's a lot more, and I'd like to be able to dispose of as much as I have ready, whenever I'm ready to dispose of it. I didn't seriously consider paying for it, but I'll look into it.

  9. #39
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    Alan, the "office supply" stores typically offer shredding and it's not expensive. It's by weight. It's a good alternative to waiting for a free shredding event when you have a lot of stuff to get sliced and diced. The free events often have a limit to what you can drop; four boxes is common around here.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Hilbert Jr View Post
    There are ways to scan "shreds" and use a computer to put them back together if a crook were really determined. It was actually developed for law enforcement use.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Alan, the "office supply" stores typically offer shredding and it's not expensive.
    As far as I can tell, all the name-brand office-supply places actually sub that job out to the Iron Mountain people. https://www.ironmountain.com/

    Which probably means that Iron Mountain is either a Google subsidiary or an NSA front.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  11. #41
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    Iron Mountain is a very well known company for storage and "destructive" services...they are large and have major contracts with the big corporations and government agencies.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    True but there would have to be a really, really, really good reason for someone to go to that kind of trouble with someone's household trash...

    I understand some credit card info or bank account info can be worth a couple hundred bucks on the dark web. I have no other idea how much could be gained by it, just that is & can be done. I know a Harrisburg, PA law firm disposed of some case files that contained sensitive client information and one fake tax return for a client cost the tax payers over $5,000.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Iron Mountain is a very well known company for storage and "destructive" services...they are large and have major contracts with the big corporations and government agencies.
    I don't know if this is the case in every city, but in my area, you can simply google mobile shredding and you will come up with a long list of vendors.

    Many times these are mom and pop businesses where they have purchased the truck mounted shredding machine. We called one to our office to shred about 50 boxes because nobody was enthusiastic about transporting them anywhere. This couple show up with a truck with one of those lifts like garbage trucks have for wheeled garbage bins. What they did was dump each box's contents into the garbage bin. When full, up it went and dumped into a big industrial shredder. I think they charged us something like $3/box and they were there for all of 20 minutes.
    I asked if they come to people's homes and they said absolutely, but there was a minimum charge, I can't recall what it was.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Iron Mountain is a very well known company for storage and "destructive" services...they are large and have major contracts with the big corporations and government agencies.
    (sigh) Yes, I know who they are, they handled all the classified waste in my former career.

    "It's a joke, I say, a joke, son!" - Foghorn Leghorn
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  15. #45
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    Long, long ago (1960's) I worked for a bank until I realized that really wasn't my thing. We would periodically take boxes of old records to a supermarket and toss them into the incinerator behind the store they burned cardboard in. Can't do that no more.

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