The Growing Field of Destroying

April 23 , 2007 in SecurShred in the News

Burlington Free Press (VT), Business Monday
April 23, 2007
By Dan McLean

SOUTH BURLINGTON—Thousands of pounds of shredded paper sat on the floor at SecurShred Document Destruction’s warehouse Tuesday morning.

Thanks to a new state law, more business could be coming its way.

Vermont is one of about a half-dozen states to write a law requiring more document shredding, Vermont Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill said Thursday. The law, the Document Safe Destruction Act, was passed along with the Security Breach Notice Act and Social Security Number Protection Act in 2006.

The mounds of scrap paper at SecurShred would soon be sent through a bailer and wrapped in half-ton packages. About 40 bales, each weighing nearly 1,100 pounds, were stacked three or four high, reaching about seven feet high. The bales were ready to be taken to a recycling center where they would have a new life as toilet paper, tissue paper and paper towels, said David Van Mullen, SecurShred’s vice president of sales and marketing.

The founders of SecurShred, Ken Miller and Eric Flegenheimer, had no real experience in the shredding business before they started the company in 2000.

Miller, 51, of Shelburne, and Flegenheimer, 47, of Williston, teamed up after each sold his previous business and was looking for a new venture. Miller, who said his family started The Pub and Ken’s Pizza in Burlington, ran Amigo’s Restaurant in Shelburne; Flegenheimer said he ran the Net Result, a Dorset Street seafood store. “We had all sorts of grand ideas, but after doing the research, this is what makes the most sense,” Miller said.

A Grand Idea
Flegenheimer knew he needed a change.
“I ran Net Result for 10 years and then just decided it was time to do something different—and I didn’t know what that would be,” Flegenheimer said, adding that his father, who had run a shredding business in Michigan, suggested he start a shredding company. “The next day, I saw an ad in the Wall Street Journal for a shred truck. And I thought, ‘There’s a sign.’ ”
Miller and Flegenheimer considered purchasing a franchise of a shredding chain, but decided against it. Miller thought starting their own company would work better because Vermont is “an independent state.”

After identity theft became more of a concern, starting around 2004, the company began to gather more clients. SecurShred now has 12 employees and expects to add more.

A few minutes before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Miller—a hands-on owner—scurried around the warehouse, jumping from the fork-lift to the small front-loader, shoving piles of shredded paper onto the baler.

The business—which also destroys hard drives, other digital records and film—works mostly in Vermont but has some clients in western New Hampshire and the northeastern section of New York state, Van Mullen said.

New Legislation
Federal law requires the destruction of medical and credit reporting data, but a state statute was needed to require destruction of documents such as employment records and other financial records, Brill said. “The state of Vermont is concerned about personal information … to guard people against identity theft,” she said. Vermont’s legislation is part of “the overall policy scheme to protect consumers from identify theft when their personal information is accessed or stolen,” she said.
Vermont is part of the first wave of states to enact is own data destruction laws. Arkansas, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Washington also have data destruction laws, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Vermont’s legislation should also help boost business for shredding companies such as SecurShred.

SecurShred has moved from Lime Kiln Road to a larger facility on Meadowland Drive in South Burlington, Van Mullen said. The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved a $306,000 loan for the $850,000 warehouse purchase, according to Free Press archives.

“Anytime one of these laws come along, they help,” Flegenheimer said. “Even employment applications need to be destroyed under the new law.”

Contact Dan McLean at 651-4877 or dmclean@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com
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