Click on a question below to view the answer.
You may also limit the results by entering a search term.

Shredding

All General Records Retention Schedules include the appropriate method for disposition of a record once it has reached the end of its retention period. Disposition methods include shredding, recycling, deletion of electronic records or transfer of the records to the University Archives. The appropriate disposition method is listed right under the retention period.

Examples of confidential or proprietary records that should be shredded include:

  • student files;
  • personnel files;
  • intellectual property;
  • or any records that contain Social Security Numbers, Student ID numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc.

Please contact us at urc@uw.edu or 543-0573 if you have questions about the confidentiality of specific records.

If records are sent to the University Records Center for inactive storage, at the end of their retention period we will pay for shredding. If records are stored in an office for the full retention period, the office can either chose to shred the records themselves or pay for a vendor to do the shredding for them.

If non-paper records like tapes and disks contain confidential information, then they must also be destroyed in a way that maintains their confidentiality of their content. If these types of records are sent to the University Records Center for inactive storage, we will pay to have them destroyed in a way that preserves their confidentiality. If non-paper records are stored in an office for the full retention period, we recommend that a vendor take on the destruction. Most shredding vendors can also handle these formats, although their price structure may be different.

Current shredding services contract(s) available to the University can be found on the Procurement Services website using the UW Contracts search tool and using the search term "shredding".

It is important to create an audit trail for the records your office disposes of, regardless of whether they are shredded, recycled, deleted, or transferred to University Archives. To that end, we recommend each office maintain a disposition log documenting what records were destroyed and when. For more information, see Destroying Records.