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Shredding Old Fax Rolls

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

Hey Folks,

Mike here…

Do you remember those older style fax machines that had the carbon paper inside?

Well there’s a good chance that if your home or office currently does have a fax machine that it is bundled with a printer/copier. And as such, when a fax comes in it is printed using the same ink/toner cartridge used for printing or coping. So there’s a good chance you don’t have to worry about this.

(However, I just did a real quick search on Amazon and they still make really low cost fax machines that still run the carbon fax rolls.)

But, if you’ve been in business a while, you might have a stack of used fax rolls sitting around in the back storage room collecting dust.

And, since you can plainly see the contents of every fax sent on those rolls, it’s probably a pretty good idea to make sure these rolls get properly destroyed.

Here’s the rub…

The film on these fax rolls is like tissue. And if you haven’t tried it yet, try running some of this film through your office shredder. As you’ll see, you won’t get a very good result.

The problem is that the film is so thin that it contours around the blades so it won’t shred. Basically a lot of work for little or no results. Especially when you consider all the time it takes to unravel the film from the rolls. (Not a fun job if you’ve ever tried – you also get black carbon mess all over the place!)

Unfortunately, there’s no real fast way to shred these rolls…

But here’s my solution:

You have to sandwich the film between pieces of sturdy paper before running it through the shredder. Most times we use old manila or hanging folders. Or, if we have a lot of the film, we’ll get a bunch of it and place it between two cardboard file box tops.

The cardboard gives the film enough structure to be effectively shredded when passing through the shredder blades.

Our industrial shredder has no problem handling the fax film cardboard sandwich…

The bad news is that, most likely, your office shredding machine won’t be able to handle it!

Also, even down at our facility with our industrial shredders, we still have to unroll the film ensuring we get a quality shred that makes the film unreadable. (So we still get the carbon mess!)

Next time you come across some of these old fax rolls, feel free to give me a call and I’d be glad to help.

Until next time…

Keep Totally Secure,


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