A long line of cars stretched from the lower parking lot of The Centre as residents waited to drop off up to five boxes of documents to be shredded at the city of Santa Clarita’s document shredding event held on Saturday.
So many people showed up to the event that even after traffic was diverted in a loop around the complex to form a line, the row of cars extended out of the complex and onto Golden Valley Road.
The event started at 9 a.m. and was originally supposed to go until 1 p.m., but the had to be cut short due to the unexpected turnout. After just a couple of hours, the onsite shredders had reached their limit.
“The line was non-stop for the first two hours of the event,” said Laura Jardine, an administrative analyst for the city and event organizer. “So we reached capacity with our first truck, we brought in a second truck and we reached capacity with that, and we’ve had to shut the event down for capacity.”
The shredding trucks operated by Paper Cuts Inc., a Los Angeles-based document shredding company, allowed residents to drive up to the location, unload their boxes, and have their contents shredded on-site.
This event was the first of its kind since the pandemic, which city officials theorized contributed to the large turnout. The service was once offered by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station but that program has since been discontinued.
“It’s unfortunate because the Sheriff’s Department was hosting these a few years ago and they haven’t been able to do one for quite some time,” said Jardine. “So the city kind of stepped in and decided to do one for the community, and with the pandemic and everything I think a lot of people had a lot of documents piled up. So that’s kind of why it was so important today.”
Nancy Tujetsch, who was there to drop off years’ worth of documents to be shredded, said she’s been waiting for an event like this for a long time.
“I’ve been wanting something like this for a long time because I’ve just got so much to shred that I haven’t kept up on,” said Tujetsch. “I even called them to make sure this is gonna be secure because I have secure information in my pile.”
Since a lot of people were there to dispose of sensitive documents, the city made security a top priority. Even when both the shredder trucks reached capacity, the area where the boxes were located was closed off to the public and arrangements were made to transport them to an offsite shredder.
“I know the city does a good job in keeping its reputation. There are places I wouldn’t trust other than Santa Clarita,” said Tujetsch.
Chris Yewdall, who was also at the event to shred some documents, said he was happy the city was offering this service.
“I think it’s great because it’s tough to put shredded paper in the recycle [bin],” said Yewdall. “It’s easier to just bring it here.”
City officials said they’ll have more accurate numbers as to how many people participated in the event, and how large the quantity of documents shredded were, but estimated that approximately 500 people showed up to shred about 2,500 boxes of documents.
“We knew that it would be a popular event. We didn’t anticipate how popular it would be, but this gives us a good idea that it is a needed event,” said Jardine. “We will definitely get another one put together fairly soon and hopefully be able to get some of those that we had to turn away today.”