Best way to dispose of old bank statements and the like?

I’ve been diligently saving bank (and other account) statements for probably over 3 years now, you know, just in case.

It’s come time to let go though. I just confirmed with my bank that, should that unlikely emergency event come where I need to check something, my records will still be obtainable, even if for a few bucks.

So I’ll keep about a year’s worth, and destroy the rest. But I don’t have a shredder. My dad does, but still, it’s a lot of paper, and I believe his shredder couldn’t handle too many pages at a time. (I could be wrong about that).

Does anyone have any suggestions for alternatives. Burning seems much more difficult than it’d be worth. Unless I had a charcoal grill or something like that, I’d probably have to dig a hole.

Maybe there’s an incinerator somewhere open to the public? Or a mass shredder?

Soak the documents in water after tearing them up. Burning is best though, followed by shredding.

Singularly work your way through each one with a hole punch. It’ll take you years but you’ll sleep better afterwards.

Unfortunately I don’t own one. I believe I have a safety pin floating around here somewhere, if I can find it. (I hope it’s in it’s “safe” position).

Unless you have an active volcano nearby, I would burn them in an old metal trash can, crush the can into a cube and then shoot the cube into the center of the sun.

You really can’t be too careful, you know.

Don’t forget your gloves, goggles and respirator when operating your safety pin! shudders at the potential carnage

Seriously, you can buy shredders extremely cheaply these days. I think I paid around 40 bucks CDN for my little one. It just sits on the lip of the garbage bin. The one I have can take up to twently pages at a time, or ten folded in half. I use it for everything with any financial/personal info printed on it.

So Moe, you must be married or something right? Living with someone who won’t let you properly burn stuff in the kitchen sink like a regular person? :smiley:

I’ve been slowly collecting stuff like that for several years too. I’ve bought a shredder, and one of these days I’ll start slowly shredding the offending waste. I’d be satisfied with a good shredding (crosscut yada yada etc.), and making sure that the shreds are good and mixed up with other shredded stuff (so maybe any one document would be spread between different bags of shreds) before I dispose of them in the garbage (or recycling).

Take your shredded papers and use them as bedding for your dog, or for your cat’s litter box. (If anybody wants your info bad enough to try to reassemble the used shreds from your cat’s litter box, good luck to them!) Or donate the shreds to your local humane shelter.

I’d suggest avoiding burning, because this material is readily recycleable, and we don’t need to pollute the air any more.

Get a pair of gerbils. Tear the bank statements into hand-sized pieces. Give the pieces to the gerbils. Watch as your statements turn into a nest.

Get a shredder. They’re dirt cheap these days, and provide hours and hours of entertainment.


Actually, I share a house with 3 other single guys, so the problem with your idea is more about doing the dishes then anything else.

I may invest in one of those shredders, or just wait till I have some time to head over to the folks house. I’m sure my dad’s is one of those 20-pages-at-a-time ones, so that’s not too bad. I was just kinda motivated to take care of it today.

As far as pets, birds are all we got here(I’m allergic to dogs and cats, maybe gerbils, I dunno). I’m not sure that sticking over 2 years of bank statements into their cage will promote that homey, living room feel I’m going for.

Since it’ll probably be some time till I can get to my parent’s house, other suggestions are still welcome. (extra points for those not involving allergy-provoking animals, land formations not typically found in suburban Long Island, or breaking through the Earth’s gravitational field)

Another option is to give them to a trusted friend who works in an office that has locked shredder bins.

Every week, the Instashred truck comes by and the bins’ contents are shredded on-site.

From a poster named gotpasswords, I think that is a scam.

I use a fireplace that way my whole neighborhood gets to bask in the odor of my financial life.

BTW, I agree with the others, shredders are pretty cheap these days.

I’ve saved every. fucking. statement. from the last 16 years. And I have no intention of getting rid of them for a looooong time. They don’t take up much room and I MIGHT NEED THEM SOME DAY!

Smart idea saving statements for 16 years. Better save them forever. Makes it easy on the divorce lawyers.

What’s a scam? The on-site shredding? Or that I deal with restricted “eyes only” level classified documents every day and that they do get shredded every Friday?

I once cooked a cheeseburger with 6 months of rejection letters after a job search came to an end. It’s the one time I was glad the meat wasn’t better done.

I’ll need your ATM PIN to answer your question accurately.

I had the same sort of problem. I was on travel for a long time, did all my banking/credit card/reservation stuff online, and just let all of the paper statements pile up in boxes, bags, backpacks - you get the idea. A mess. There was no way I was going to just throw them in the dumpster, so I finally invested in a shredder. It’s a pretty good one, shreds fine and cross-cuts, there’s no way anybody’s going to want to put that stuff together when there are easier ways to get the information.

Don’t take it to your dad’s, just buy one if you can afford it. Shredding is actually fun for me, allows me to completely destroy something without hurting anyone. When you finally get through your backlog (took me a few days, I think), you now have a way to immediately get rid of stuff (unsolicited credit card applications, for instance).

I really believe if you get one, you’ll love it.