Confidential waste

Records Management provides a confidential disposal service for paper records. It is very important for departments to treat unneeded sensitive material in an appropriate manner. Any sensitive material must be disposed of confidentially following our guidelines or you are at risk of breaching the University's policies on records management, information security, and data protection.

Why should I consider confidential waste disposal?

Staff must ensure that records are kept and disposed of safely and in accordance with the University's Records Management Policy. The Information Security Policy sets out the importance of preserving confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.

Confidential material should not be placed in any of the normal waste or recycling bins across the University but should be collected separately. All confidential material that needs to be disposed of should be either securely shredded onsite using a cross-cut shredder or arrangements should be made with Records Management for secure shredding and recycling. Material sent for recycling is pulped only - it is not shredded before pulping.

What can I send for confidential disposal?

The confidential disposal service mainly deals with paper records but can also take physical items, packaged separately, including:

  • CDs
  • Magnetic tape
  • X-rays
  • Video tape
  • ID cards

Redundant IT equipment should be disposed using the IT Asset Disposal Service.

How should I package the material?

Place papers in the sacks provided. You can leave metal fastenings such as paperclips but should remove folders, unless there is confidential material on the folders in which case we can take them. Plastic such as plastic wallets and sleeves must be removed as this contaminates the load. Do not overfill the bag and secure it with a tie once filled.

Is the service free?

There is currently no charge for the collection and destruction of paper confidential material. This service, which enables the University to meet its obligations under the Data Protection Act - as well as its ordinary responsibilities to its staff and students - is not cheap and costs are linked to weight of material. Departments may be charged if the material is found to be non-confidential, if the material is not ready by the time of the pre-arranged collection date, or if the material does not meet the criteria listed above.

How long will I have to wait for collection?

There can be a wait time of several months so please book well in advance. Alternative arrangements include: hiring Valley Star to transport the material, getting a direct pickup from the shredding company (if you have a large quantity of bags), or using your own transport to deliver the bags to us.

What about arrangements in the Foundation, Hart, Sherrington and Alsop buildings?

Confidential waste consoles have been provided throughout the Foundation, Hart, Sherrington and Alsop buildings. The contents of these consoles is shredded off-site and recycled. Departments within these buildings may order additional bags to cover any large excess of records for confidential destruction, which will be collected alongside the consoles. Should material or items be mistakenly disposed of, the keys to the consoles are held by Records Management.