Local Recycling Firm Begins Document Shredding Business

by Mary-Beth McLaughlin, Blade Business Writer
(article originally published in Toledo Blade)

After 64 years of recycling everything from newspaper to metal, it was only natural that customers turned to State Paper & Metal Co., Inc, when they needed help shredding sensitive documents. The requests were so frequent that the Toledo company’s owners decided recently to launch AccuShred, a division dedicated solely to the destruction of sensitive documents, such as health-care information, and business-related paperwork.

They have renovated a nearby building, secured it with locks and video cameras, and been certified by the National Association for Information Destruction. “Recycling commodities has always been a roller coaster ride,” said Nate Segall, vice president of the family-owned business at 1118 W. Central Ave. “This is a recession-proof business, and it’s going to help smooth out the highs and lows.”

Jody Schmit, operations manager for the national trade group, said companies want to be certified to show clients they are committed to secure shredding.”There is a greater awareness from the public about personal identity theft, so insurance companies and banks, etc. need to make sure they’re not casually discarding private documents,” she said.

Mr. Segall and President Barry Gudelman said the company should grow slowly. “We hope to be doing this for years,” said Mr. Gudelman, son of the company’s chairman, Norman Gudelman. Mr. Gudelman’s great uncle, Morris Gudelman, started the company in 1939. He handled scrap paper, iron and other metal, and rags in the company’s original location on Woodruff Avenue near Cherry Street. The company was then called State Iron and Metal Co.

Norman Gudelman emigrated to the United States from Israel and joined his uncle in the company in 1958. Three years later, he and the late Ralph Worshtil bought the company and moved it to the present location on Central Avenue.

Mr. Segall and Barry Gudelman said the company has gone through a number of transformations, recycling the hot items during each time period, including paper, rags, wastepaper, and such nonferrous metals as copper, brass, and aluminum. Business is a mix of drive-up customers unloading their pop cans to industrial and commercial firms that hire State Paper to haul away tons of office waste. The company has 21 trailers, three semis, and three other trucks. It picks up material as far south as Findlay and as far north as Detroit.

The business has 15 employees and expects to have revenues this year of $1.75 million, but the principals are hopeful those numbers will increase. Prices in the industry have been very depressed for two years, but AccuShred has been busy in its short existence, Mr. Segall and Mr. Gudelman said. “It’s tough because we don’t get to set the price of our widgets,” Mr. Segall said. The executives said their timing is good, because of new patient privacy requirements for medical records included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

AccuShred’s new location has closed-circuit video monitoring of all shredding, as well as a 90-day library so that companies know their paperwork has been destroyed. All employees must undergo background checks and drug tests to make sure there are no felons handling the documents.

The convenience of dealing with one company with separate divisions for recycling and document destruction is appealing to Chris Finnegan, production manager of Expressbill, Inc, a Toledo statement-processing company. It uses State Paper & Metal to recycle white ledger and cardboard and AccuShred to destroy documents.

“I like that I can always get ahold of Barry or Nate and they get things done for me,” Mr. Finnegan said. “I don’t have to deal with any red tape or go through three or four people before I get to the right person. And their pricing is pretty competitive.”

About AccuShred: AccuShred, LLC provides secure destruction of obsolete files, computer disks, CDs, audio and video tapes, books, X-rays, photographs, uniforms, computer hard drives, electronic devices, security IDs and more. The company provides both on-site and facility-based information destruction services for clients in the Northern Ohio, Southeastern Michigan and Northwestern Indiana areas. AccuShred is the first company in Northwestern Ohio to obtain the coveted AAA Certification, the industry’s highest professional certification for information destruction. In addition, AccuShred is covered by the industry’s only Professional Liability Insurance coverage specifically designed for document destruction service providers. Sensitive customer information is destroyed quickly and securely every time. AccuShred is a division of State Paper & Metal Company, a respected name in the recycling industry for more than 70 years. For more information, visit www.AccuShred.net.