Shredded documents can't be comingled

I've been trying to clean up and clean out piles of old bills and other paperwork. Since I don't feel comfortable sending it off to the landfill with all the personal information that's included in the various papers, I've decided to shred it. Is there someone locally who provides shredding services for relatively small quantities of paper, or do I need to buy a small shredder and deal with it one document at a time? Also, I heard that you can't recycle shredded paper. Is that right, and if so, why not?

— Kate L., Medford

Personally, we here at SYA Central find pulling out little staples and feeding one sheet of paper at a time into our bread-box-sized shredder somehow satisfying, but then we like watching C-SPAN and TED lectures, too, if that tells you anything.

You don't have to live in our little hell, Kate. You can be free of your old bills and other paperwork in a flash — and you don't even have to remove the staples — thanks to Rogue Shred LLC, a division of Rogue Disposal and Recycling.

You can buy a bag for your shreddables for $6.50 at American Family Insurance offices or at the Rogue Shred office at 8001 Table Rock Road in White City. Then when you've filled it up with your personal documents, drop it back off at either location. Destruction takes place once a week, according to Rogue Shred's website at

If you do decide to shred your own paper, don't put it in the comingle recycling bin; Rogue Disposal won't take it. Shredding decreases fiber length, meaning it weakens any paper made from it, and it can cause fire hazards and maintenance problems at some mills.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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