Document-shredding service provider Cintas Corporation recently announced that, by its own estimates, it has saved more than 1.6 million trees through October 2010 by recycling confidential documents. In addition to trees, Cintas says that it has saved more than 196,000 barrels of oil, 688 million gallons of water, 294,000 cubic yards of landfill space and 393 million kilowatts of energy.

What happens when you call the shredder company? First, the paper is collected by Cintas and destroyed through its secure SmartShred process. This process can take place on Cintas' mobile shredding trucks or at any of its nationwide locations. The shredded paper is then delivered to a paper mill to be recycled. At the mill, the paper is sorted to remove contaminants such as paper clips, plastic and other materials that can't be recycled. It is then turned into a pulp and manufactured into secondary paper products, such as paper cups, paper towels and tissue.

“Recycling paper saves water, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses approximately 25 percent less energy than manufacturing paper from trees,” says Pamela Coleman, director of supplier diversity and corporate sustainability, Cintas.

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