Local bank hosts annual shredding event

Published 7:55 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

Those in the market to get rid of personal documents have an outlet today at First Citizens Bank in Washington.

First Citizens will host its annual shredding event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the parking lot of its Carolina Avenue main office. The event is free and open to the public, according to Shannon White, First Citizens financial sales manager.

The annual event draws many — 10,000 pounds of material was shredded by the onsite shredding truck during First Citizens’ 2013 event.

“Last year, we filled the truck. We ended up having to turn people away,” White said. “I would say, come early.”

White said anyone wishing to drop off documents is encouraged to enter the First Citizens parking lot from the Washington Square Mall side and enter in a drawing for a personal-sized Nuova shredder — a $50 value.

The public is invited to bring old ATM receipts, checks, tax information, credit card statements, copies of bills and any other papers that contain sensitive information to ensure it’s properly disposed of.

“It’s really a customer service/community project,” White said. “It’s a safe way to dispose of personal documentation to help prevent fraud. There’s a lot of people who have lots of things they’ve kept for years and years.”

Destroying old papers, rather than just tossing them out with the garbage, is a great way to prevent crime, according to Major Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

“It creates another layer of protection from fraud and identity theft going above and beyond just checking your credit report yearly,” Watson said.

White said First Citizens’ Shred Day will take place rain or shine.

“We hope the community will come out because that’s why we’ve continued to do it all these years,” White said. “It’s not just for First Citizens’ customers. It’s for everybody.”

Only dry paper will be accepted; bindings, paper clips and staples do not have to be removed. Materials should be in boxes or containers for easy disposal. First Citizens’ Bank is located at 1411 Carolina Avenue in Washington.