Departments Are Invited to Shred Unneeded Records July 20

July 11, 2012 — Ten tons. That's the amount of data the Office of Records Management expects to dispose of at its fourth annual "University of Virginia Records Management Day," set for July 20. And that's a modest estimate, said University records officer Caroline Walters.

She predicts one of the two shredding trucks will be filled by midday, and noted that since 2009 the events have generated 11 tons, 15.16 tons and 9.81 tons of material, respectively.

Two trucks will be stationed in the Carruthers Hall visitors parking lot between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During this time, members of all University departments are encouraged to bring paper or electronic records for secure disposal.

"Being able to provide a service that excites people to clean up their offices and file rooms is a plus," Walters said. "If they no longer need the information and records, it's important to be able to securely destroy them."

Beyond being just a fun and convenient way to clean out the office, security is an important consideration for this and every day, Walters said.

To that end, Walters is inviting the public as well as members of the University community, whether or not they have records to shred, to come to the event and learn more about records management and security – and to enjoy free food and sign up to win prizes.

"My job as University records officer is to provide guidance and assistance to faculty and staff in the proper management and retention of the University's records – and a record can be anything that documents some transaction or activity related to the work of the University," she said.

Walters said the legally required retention period for records can vary widely depending on their nature.

Those interested in bringing University materials to the event must submit an RM3 Certificate of Records Destruction form to the Office of Records Management and have it approved before the items are destroyed. This form also will be available at the event for those who don't have the opportunity to fill it out in advance. 

While paper records and electronic storage media such as CDs, floppy disks and tapes are fair game, there are some restrictions to ensure that shredding goes smoothly. Records Management asks that participants remove binder clips, oversize paperclips and hidden CDs and floppies, as well as all forms of binders, hanging file folders and plastics .

Regular staples, paperclips, rubber bands and manila folders and envelopes need not be removed.

Heavy brochures, flyers, books and pamphlets will not be shredded. Rather, they will be directed to U.Va. Recycling.

Those interested in disposing of old pieces of computer hardware should contact Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services so that they can be processed in a secure and environmentally friendly manner by Creative Recycling Services Inc.

Records Management will provide free shuttle service for staff members and their materials throughout the day. Email to schedule a pickup time. 

Information can be found at the Office of Records Management website, or by contacting 434-243-9162 or

– by Preston Pezzaro