Many people may have personal papers that are no longer needed and are cluttering their house, but fear of identity theft prevents some people from trashing or recycling these sensitive documents.
The Joplin Recycling Center, 1310 West A Street, can help. On Saturday, November 17, in celebration of America Recycles Day, the Center will host a shredding event, in which large amounts of paper can be shredded quickly at no cost to area residents. this opportunity is only available between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the document shredding company, CRC Shredding, will have their mobile shred truck at the Center. This event is free and open to all residents.
The event is sponsored by the Joplin Recycling Department, the Joplin Police Department, Region M Solid Waste Management District, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Captain Trevor Duncan reminds residents, “Identity thieves can turn your trash into cash, regardless if it is printed or electronic.”
Identity theft resulting from items stolen from the trash or curbside recycling bins is the easiest type of crime to prevent. By completely shredding documents, receipts, address labels, or pieces of paper with identifying information like account numbers, you can stop identity theft. But simply ripping an item a few times by hand is not sufficient! Identity thieves will spend hours putting ripped documents back together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Types of items identity thieves seek include:
- Expired credit and debit cards
- Credit and debit card receipts
- Unused credit card checks
- Credit card statements
- Canceled checks
- Investment account statements
- Pension account statements
- Paycheck stubs
- Wage and earnings statements
- Phone and utility bills
- Retail invoices and statements
- Tax returns and statements
- Medical bills
- Insurance claim information
- Checking and savings account statements
- Pre-approved credit card offers and applications
- Insurance policy information (auto, health, life)
- Expired identification documents (driver’s licenses and passports)
Even return addresses on envelopes indicate where you bank; who your doctor is; where your investments are held; who your mortgage is maintained by and provide other similar information that provides a blueprint of your life.
If residents fear they have been a victim of identity theft, they should contact their local law enforcement agency.
Mary Anne Phillips, Recycling Coordinator said, “We are happy to bring this event to the Joplin community in celebration of America Recycles Day, but for those who cannot attend, the Recycling Center has a paper document destruction service all year.”
The Center utilizes three locked 96-gallon containers that are switched out with empty containers on a weekly basis by CRC Shredding. The process is self-serve---patrons can drop approximately 200 pages at a time through the restricted opening on the container. This service is no cost to patrons. All paper is shredded, mixed with other non-sensitive shredded paper, pulped, and then used in the manufacture of products such as egg cartons.
The Center is open Tuesday and Thursday from Noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact:
Mary Anne Phillips, Recycling Coordinator 417-624-0820 extension 501;
Captain Trevor Duncan, 417-623-3131 extension 600;
Jennifer Shotwell, Region M, 417-649-6400 extension 302