Topwood Ltd
Freephone 0800 781 1066

Frequently Asked Questions

Topwood's dual shredding consoles are a new addition to the equipment and supplies for our regular document shredding customers. These consoles can provide customers with the benefit of storing both documents and electronic media safely in the same unit (in separate compartments) ready for when Topwood’s vetted staff arrive to empty into our mobile shred trucks.

No, you do not need to remove staples and other stationery prior to shredding one sheet at a time as this is costly, time consuming and can pose a risk of a data breach. Our document shredders can shred through staples and all types of stationery. Failure to remove staples could jam your office shredders and causes burn outs. Using a professional shredding company like Topwood means our industrial paper shredders can tear through your confidential documents and personal information saving you the hassle of removing them. Read on to find out more.

The cost of document shredding depends on a number of key factors, such as: how much there is, how accessible it is, what the postcode is and whether on-site or off-site shredding is required. Topwood are able to provide on-site shredding and off-site shredding services for both paper shredding and media shredding. We can also offer off-site product shredding for the destruction of uniforms and branded products.  Read on to find out how we work out our prices for your confidential shredding.

Yes. Customers receive a written quotation and once accepted it forms a contract. UK data legislation requires data controllers to have contracts with their data processors. The contract provides Customers with the assurance that Topwood will use all the technical and operational measures required to ensure the secure destruction of sensitive data.

A console is a lockable, confidential paper disposal container and is a secure and efficient alternative to using office shredders. Consoles, also called receptacles or containers, are supplied free on loan as they are an integral part of a secure regular shredding service.  Each console safely holds up to 40kg of papers (approx 3 archive boxes worth of paper). Read on to find out more.



At Topwood, our  CSR policy promotes a sustainable environment and supports our local community. Our customers increasingly recognise how our values align with their CSR obligations. Read on to find out more. 



Topwood have a procedure in place to ensure you receive a traceable, complete audit trial every time. From quotation, work orders, purchase orders and Certificates of Destruction to Waste Transfer Notes and Invoices, the Topwood Audit Trail is transparent and easy to follow. 

There are several options: We can give them to you on an encrypted CD, DVD or USB. Alternatively, you can use our cloud based system for instant access wherever you are. Read on to find out more.

At Topwood, we are set up to scan everything from the smallest receipt to the largest plans. Our scanners can handle large volumes of data, capturing 130 pages per minute. Read on to find out more.

The most appropriate format depends on the document being scanned. For example, JPEG is good for colourful images whereas PDF is the best choice for text files and forms. We offer many different file formats, including PDF Searchable which allows you to search documents for words or phrases. Read on to find out more. 

We have a confidential 7 step scanning process in place that ensures your files are safe and secure at all times. We come to you to collect your documents, scan into a format of your choice, and either shred and recycle your documents, or deliver them back to you. Read on to find out more.

The guidance on electronically storing documents and destroying of paper documents depends on what type of organisation you are. Everything from Law Firms to Charities have different guidelines set out to ensure your business stays compliant with data retention rules and regulations. Extracts from each regulatory body have been drawn up in the following article. Read on to find out more. For more information about how off-site storage and data management systems can help your organisation click on the links.

No, you do not need to remove staples before scanning. The removal of staples and other such fasteners is costly and time consuming. As part of our bulk scanning and scan on demand services, we can do that for you and if you would like your files returned to you we will replace all the staples afterwards too. 

We can return your paper files to you after scanning- although many clients prefer documents to be destroyed or placed into deep storage which we can also provide. Read on to find out more. 

Yes, if the correct procedures are followed when creating images from the original documents & data. Read on to find out more.


Many businesses think storing documents in back offices and storerooms is a low cost option.  In fact, keeping documents and files incurs a huge cost and bulk shredding will improve the efficiency of your workplace.  Read on to find out more. 


On-site shredding is done at your workplace. It guarantees the shortest chain of custody and so, by definition is the most secure option. This contrasts with off-site destruction (when confidential waste is collected and taken away) which has a longer chain of custody. The shorter the chain the less chance of a security breach. Read on to find out more. 


Filing systems can get quite complicated, especially when there are multiple levels. We can store files down to file level to make searching and management easier. Read on to find out more.



When you first set up your off-site storage, you will need to record what files are in each box. Read on to find out more.



When you need to retreive documents simply contact us, or order online and we will pick them from storage. Files are then scheduled for delivery to your office on an urgent, same-day or next-day basis.  If you choose our scan on demand service, documents are selected, scanned and available for download within 30 minutes of a request. Read on to find out more.


We advise that retention dates are applied to all documents stored at Topwood. These dates generate reports so we can notify you which documents are approaching the end of their retention period. Once you approve their destruction we take the documents from storage and securely shred them.  This routine process is not only good business practice but keeps you on the right side of data protection legislation. Read on to find out more. 


Sometimes "Archive" storage and "Document" storage are interchangeable, however they do have different definitions within the Secure Storage world. Read on to find out more.

Outsourcing your document storage to a professional offsite archiving company like Topwood may seem like a unnecessary luxury but there is serious commercial sense in doing so. Storing documents offsite releases premium space to improve productivity and efficiency. Read on to find out more.


Topwood’s dedicated document storage services can help you store and manage hard copies of your files as well as electronic data. The process is simple and allows you to get a full inventory and traceability of your files and documents. Request a file online and have it in at your offices within 24 hours. Read on to find out more about our document storage process.

Ever wondered how we store documents at Topwood? We can store them in boxes, files, as single documents, or lever arch files. Read on to find out more.


A barcode number ensures that every box, file or document (item) has a unique reference.  The barcode itself means that software used by the best records management companies tracks every movement and each activity of the items. This provides the customer with complete traceability.  Barcodes do not replace other file references such as client name, matter etc. Read on to find our more. 


We store boxes regardless of their type, size and style. However, we cannot accept boxes that are split or in any way fail the basic function of containing confidential information.  Likewise boxes that are overfilled or have broken handles may pose manual handling risks and so, with the customers consent, are reboxed.  Our boxes are usually cheaper in the long-term. Read on to find out more.


Self-storage costs are fixed according to the size of the unit available. Our archive storage provides the space you actually need. Other services we provide include free collection, retrieval and delivery, online access to documents, and secure destruction. This contrasts with self-storage where these services have to be managed by you which is time consuming and costly. Read on to find out more.



Yes! The physical destruction of electronic media is the safest way to ensure your unwanted business data can never be recovered. The on-site destruction of hard drives, backup tapes and mobile devices is preferred by many compliance and IT managers as it means they can witness the destruction and rest assured their unwanted data can never be recovered.


Topwood’s storage facilities offer a wide range of secure storage services to standard PD5454. PD5454:2012 is the most up to date British Standard for storage of documentation as well as the storage of media such as CD’s, hard drives, tapes etc. Here at Topwood, we can store all sorts of documents, data, and business items; everything from deeds to financial documents. Read on to find out more.  


If your company suffers from poor record management, a move to online filing makes managing your files in our storage system easy.  With a secure login you can search for, edit, make requests and recall files.  It also allows you to approve the destruction of files, simply by clicking your mouse. Managing files online keeps errors to a minimum and the reduced admin allows staff more time to focus on customers. Read on to find out more.



When using our secure off-site secure document storage services there are a number of ways you can prepare files for archiving from labelling individual files with barcodes we supply, to putting files into strong archive boxes. Read on to find out more.


PD5454 sets out best practice in how documents and data should be stored.  The standard is the benchmark for compliance managers to use when conducting due diligence and assessing the suitability of storage companies. Read on to find out more.



Topwood offer secure uniform destruction, either onsite of offsite, to protect your brand security. Our high-security shred truck will destroy all traces of brand identity, ensuring that clothing and accompanying staff items cannot be re-used. Read on to find out more. 



Topwood is an independent document shredding firm based near Whitchurch in Shropshire with a core customer base in the West Midlands, North Wales and the North West.  A number of national shredding contracts demonstrates that we can provide scheduled shredding services UK-wide. Our membership with The Shredding Alliance ensures we can provide full UK coverage on a next-day basis. Read on to find out more. 


We prefer payment by BACS but we can also accept payment made from credit, debit and purchasing cards over the phone. For one-off bulk shredding jobs card payments are ideal as they avoid the need for setting up Topwood as a new supplier on the payment system.


One of the first questions you will ask yourself when you consider looking for an industrial shredder hire firm is "what is the difference?" Office shredders take up time, money, and valuable resources that could be used to grow your business, not to mention the risk of security breaches. Read on to find out more.



After the secure destruction of every batch of confidential documents and data, Topwood (the data processor) will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction as required under principle 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Depending on the service used, you will be provided with your certificate via email within 24hrs. Read on to find out more.



When dealing with Waste Management, you may come across these abbreviations. You will need to know the codes for the type of waste you are managing when you fill in the mandatory Waste Transfer Note. Read on to find out more.


Lean process is identifying what the consumer values and how that value can be delivered in the most efficient manner.  Leading companies in the UK have streamlined by removing costs from 'back office operations'. Records management, if delivered efficiently, can add value to a business. Read on to find out more.


A quick assessment and our expertise will determine the best number of consoles and visit frequency. Once the consoles are in use we feedback to you their fill rate by weighing the contents as we shred. This information allows adjustments to be made to ensure you have the right 'console mix' for optimum waste management and cost control. Read on to find out more.


Our lockable containers for the secure collection of unwanted confidential paperwork referred to as "consoles" or "shredding receptacles", are slightly lower than a 3 drawer filing cabinet:

590mm wide x 390mm deep (front to back) and 900mm high.
Read on to find out more.


By working with local authorities and charities Topwood provides a free shredding service for destruction of personal papers at local events. Members of public are encouraged to bring sensitive documents such as medical records, tax forms, banks statements and utility bills. Read on to find out more.



Chain of Custody (CoC) is the paper or digital trail from the first enquiry to the control, transfer and last stage of downloading a Certificate of Destruction. When it comes to shredding of documents, media, products or packaging it is important for the data controller to map where data is being passed and to ensure security measures are in palce to protect the data. Read on to find out more.


At Topwood we have a range of wheelie bins for the secure collection of confidential documents. We have 3 sizes of 2-wheeled wheelie bins for the collection of paperwork.


Very! 100% of the paper we collect and shred is recycled into useful paper products. In fact, we go further in helping customers with their environmental responsibilities; not only do we recycle the paper we shred, we also plant trees for every 2000kg of paper we shred. Read on to find out more. 



Yes we do- the process is the same as our commercial shredding operations, except we visit your residential address. Read on to find out more about our residential shredding service. Read on to find out more.



Yes- customers often request we shred files directly out of archive boxes (or other containers) as this saves them the effort of transferring everything into sacks. If you wish to re-use the boxes we can return them empty once the contents have been securely shredded. Read on to find out more. 



All contents of boxes are tipped direct into the shredder. There is no need to transfer the box contents into shred sacks. Some on-site customers do choose to keep the boxes for re-use. If they are not retained by the customer they can be shredded too or baled up at Topwood for recycling. Read on to find out more. 

We supply two types of shred sack, polyprop and paper, for the safe collection of confidential paperwork. However, using our sacks is not a requirement. If your documents are already in archive boxes or other containers/sacks we can shred the documents out of those containers (and return them to you for re-use if required). Read on to find out more. 


We recycle all the paper we collect. There are cases where we collect paper that has already been shredded.  The paper is graded at our facility and then compressed into mill sized bales so it can be delivered to the papermills for pulping into useable products.



Our industrial shredders can destroy lever arch files, ringbinders and box files. Shredding these files does contaminate the shredded paper and this limits how the paper can be recycled. To maintain our recycling record we request that customers advise in advance if the contamination rate is likely more than the 3% (by weight) tolerance. 


Yes.  The process of shredding and disintegration reduces hard-drives, CDs, VHS tapes, mobile devices and other physical data items to a powder-like material that can then be recycled.

This mechanical destruction eliminates the possibility of data theft and gives security and compliance mangers the total peace of mind that their media has been completely destroyed.


There are two main options available when you come to dispose of your confidential papers; on-site shredding and off-site shredding. On-site shredding involves a shred truck coming to your premises and shredding your material in a mobile shred truck “on-site”. Off-site shredding involves a GPS tracked van collecting your material and transporting it back to Topwood to be shredded “off-site”. Read on to find out more about the process.


UK law states Data Controllers (office managers), who subcontract the handling of their data to a third party (a data processor), remain liable for that data.  Data controllers must, therefore, be 100% sure that their processors have the proper processes and controls to protect their data.  A data processor with ISO 27001 accreditation has been independently audited to have the relevant processes and controls. Read on to find out more.


All Topwood's staff who come into contact with sensitive material are security vetted to BS7858. This level of vetting meets the requirements of shredding standard EN15713 and complies with the HM Government Cabinet Office 2014 guidelines for Personnel Security Controls. Security vetting is completed on all staff prior to their engagement.


Cross-cut shredding involves a secondary action that cuts strips like those an office shredder would cut, into much smaller fragments. Shred size does matter - the smaller the fragments the higher the security.  Read on to find out more.



FAQ: What are the benefits of a regular shredding service?Regular shredding ensures sensitive files and documents do not accumulate in your workplace. Unwanted documents left exposed to prying eyes in the office and storage areas could put your staff, customers and even your business reputation at risk. Read on to find out more.


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