How Should My Business Store Its Confidential Waste?

Confidential waste is not something you can cut corners on, both for your own security and to ensure you are complying with The General Data Protection Regulation that came into effect May 2018.

Failing to comply with GDPR could mean big fines and serious damage to your reputation. A data breach is one of the worst things that can happen to your business, so you need to think about how to deal with your confidential waste in a secure and consistent way.

The GDPR not only applies to organisations located within the EU but also applies to organisations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.

The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’, meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier. This definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, including name, identification number, location data or online identifier, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.

There are four main options for storing confidential waste; bags,  locked cabinets, locked bins and skips, each with different advantages for businesses of different sizes.


For small collections of waste and one-off batches, bags are very handy to have around – it’s always good to have some around as you never know when you’ll need one, especially as a small or midsize business. They are a flexible solution and could get you out of a tight spot in an emergency. While being particularly useful for smaller businesses, larger businesses should also stock up. Even a small amount of data going astray could mean big consequences, so at every stage keep it safe.

Locked cabinets 

Many businesses need to keep confidential records, and it is imperative these are kept safe all the way up to shredding and disposing of. While waiting to recycle your records, ensure they are kept in a locked cabinet – there should be no time where data is left unsecured, so keep it locked away until your shredding service has safe hold of it.

Locked bins

If your business creates a larger quantity of confidential waste, consider a large lockable bun, complete with a slot for easy insertion of documents. You can store some bins outside, so if there is a shortage of space there is no need to worry. Locked bins store a large amount of waste and keep everything secure through the entire process.


A larger business may benefit from skips, especially if you are often creating large quantities of confidential waste. This cost-effective method ensures data is kept away from prying eyes prior to shredding and recycling. Ensure you link up with a trusted waste shredder – you can find secure options at