Review the CRS prior to destroying any records. Record destruction should be a routine business practice following guidance given in the CRS and from the Office of Special Collections and Records Management. Destruction of records should only happen after the records have been retained as listed in the CRS, upon completing a  Records Destruction Form that has been signed by Records Management personnel, and gathering the necessary approvals. See these  steps for guidance in properly destroying records.

Records marked as "destroy" in the CRS can be destroyed in one of two ways: secure shredding or recycling. In many offices, a majority of the records requiring destruction will likely need to be recycled rather than shredded. Only shred those items that contain confidential information. The costs associated with shredding exceed costs associated with recycling. Make sure to recycle records without confidential information; however, if in doubt about whether the record should be shredded, shred it.

For additional information about shredding, contact the  Facilities Management service center at EXT 2500.
For recycling specific questions, contact the Recycling General Manager at or EXT 2514.

Prior to destroying records, the department should be certain:

  • No open audit or audit exception exists
  • No pending litigation involving the records exists
    • Destroying records needed for litigation, an audit, or an open records request can lead to legal action
  • Appropriate notifications have been given, if required
    • Including Records Management personnel and the appropriate office person

Secure Shredding

Records containing private or confidential information (personal identifiers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, student academic information, financial information) must be securely shredded. An office may elect to shred materials that have passed their retention state or have the records picked up. If a large volume of records require secure destruction, Facilities Management personnel can pick up the materials to be shredded or provide locked bins for the purpose of secure shredding.

Secure shredding is provided by Western Records Destruction, a NAID certified destruction company that specializes in the destruction of confidential records. The secure bins are picked up to be destroyed every other week. When depositing records in secure bins, you do not need to remove paper clips, staples, etc. Do remove larger metal fasteners like binder clips and metal binders.


For secure shredding and additional information, contact the  Facilities Management Service Center at EXT 2500. Contact the Service Center to create a work order for pick-up or drop-off of shred bins.


The preferred method of disposing of records that do not contain confidential or other private information is recycling. Recycling bins are available across campus and are picked up and maintained by Facilities Management. For large quantities that need to be recycled, contact Facilities Management for pick up.


For more information on recycling on campus and information on what can be recycled, contact the recycling General Manager at or EXT 2514. You can also visit the  recycling and sustainability web page for more information.

When determining what should be shredded and what should be recycled, follow these guidelines:

Shred records with the confidential information (if in doubt, shred it):

Recycle records with non-confidential information:

  • Records with I-numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.
  • White paper (blank, written, printed, etc.)
  • Personnel records
  • White paper (crumpled as well as flat)
  • Confidential letters and memos
  • Colored paper
  • Medical Information
  • Newspapers
  • Test/exam materials
  • Magazines
  • Financial information: bank/credit card statements, payroll information, tax information, etc.
  • Paper airplanes

Electronic Records

Electronic records should follow these guidelines generally. Electronic records are considered destroyed when a definitive obliteration beyond any possible reconstitution is performed. This may include physical means or electronic means:

  • Magnetic Media: Reformatting, degaussing (subjecting the item to a strong magnetic field), or pulverizing
  • Optical media: cutting, crushing, or other physical means of destruction. Rewritable media should be reformatted.