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Free Document-Shredding Program Returns March 31

Post Date:02/28/2018 2:00 PM

The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the county's Public Works Department invite residents to mark their calendars and start collecting documents for easy, no-hassle shredding, starting March 31.

Shredding events will be held on 10 Saturdays through the "Operation Secure Shred" program, rain or shine. The kickoff event will be hosted by Somerset County and subsequent events will be hosted by the county and participating municipalities. All shredding events are held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the trucks are filled to capacity, at which time they leave and the event is over for that day. A valid New Jersey driver’s license to confirm Somerset County residency is required. Pre-registration is not required. No businesses are allowed.

Residents from all 21 Somerset County municipalities are invited to have personal documents shredded at as many free, on-site mobile paper-shredding events as they wish to attend. Residents do not have to reside in the town hosting an event to participate.

"Properly disposing of personal documents is a necessary step in safeguarding and protecting your personal information and credit and in preventing identify theft," said Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, public works liaison. "We are pleased to be able to provide this very popular service to our residents again this year, in collaboration with our municipalities.”

Since the program began in 2007, more than 1.6 million pounds of materials have been dropped off for shredding by more than 22,500 residents, thereby keeping personal information out of the hands of unauthorized people who could potentially wreak financial havoc. In 2017, 3,545 cars dropped off documents; the total volume of paper shredded was 251,590 pounds.

The kick-off shredding event will be held March 31 at the Somerset County Public Works South County Facility at 410 Roycefield Road in Hillsborough. Nine subsequent events will be hosted by the county and participating municipalities as follows: April 28 in Hillsborough at the Auten Road School, 281 Auten Road; July 7 in Somerset at the Franklin Township Municipal Building, 475 DeMott Lane; July 21 in Bedminster at the Public Works Building, 75 Miller Lane; July 28 in Bridgewater at the Municipal Building, 100 Commons Way; Aug. 25 at the Somerset County Public Works South County Facility, 410 Roycefield Road in Hillsborough; Sept. 22 in Branchburg at the Municipal Building,1077 U.S. Highway 202 North; Oct. 6 in Skillman at the Montgomery Township High School,1016 Routh 601; Oct. 20 in Green Brook at the Green Brook Middle School,132 Jefferson Ave.; and Jan. 19, 2019 at the Somerset County Public Works North County Facility, 411 Chimney Rock Road in Bridgewater.

Municipalities that participate in the shredding events earn credits toward the Sustainable Jersey program.

Documents will be commercially shredded safely, privately and properly by trained, licensed and bonded document-destruction specialists. Staples and paperclips do not have to be removed. Residents may bring documents in up to six boxes, containers or bags per visit and will be asked to take back their receptacles. Residents may stay and watch as their documents are shredded.

The following recyclable items will not be accepted: junk mail, magazines and newspapers. This shredding opportunity is not open to businesses.

For more information about locations of the municipal shredding events, contact the towns directly. A listing of towns in Somerset County can be found on the county's website. A schedule of shredding events and more is available on the website too.

For more information about the “Operation Secure Shred” program, contact the Somerset County Public Works Department at 908-203-6018 or publicworks@co.somerset.nj.us

In 2016 the Federal Trade Commission reported nearly 500,000 identity theft complaints and in 2014 the Department of Justice reported that 17.6 million individuals – 7 percent of all U.S. residents age 16 and older – were victims of one or more incidents of identity theft. If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft, the FTC provides a comprehensive 68-page booklet titled "Taking Charge: What To Do If Your Identity Is Stolen."

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