Students Staff

Do I just chuck this in the bin then?

This is a brief guide to disposing of documents.

Disposing of paper documents

Is it confidential?

Some things you throw away will be confidential. This could include personal information about staff or students, drafts of policies that are not yet approved, or copies of minutes that are not normally published. Please do not put these into the bin or recycling. Contact Estate Management; just ring or email their Helpdesk. Tell them where you are and that you have confidential waste for shredding. They will come and collect it and take it away to be safely destroyed.

If the material really is very confidential then you can go with the colleague from Estate Management who collects the waste and oversee it being shredded. You’ll need to let the Helpdesk know that you are intending to do this.

Once material has been identified for shredding bag it up and keep the bag somewhere secure until it’s collected. Do not ever leave confidential waste in corridors or other public spaces.

Are you sure you want to throw it out?

Please check carefully that you are throwing out the item you mean to dispose of. Check that you haven’t got other documents accidentally caught up in the same folder or paperclip. Check that the retention schedule allows you to throw the item away.


If paper isn’t confidential and you’re sure you can get rid of it, then please think of the environment and recycle!

Disposing of electronic documents


Don’t forget that email proliferates. The copy in your inbox could be just one of many. Check your sent items, deleted items and draft folders. It’s useful to empty out your sent items and deleted items on a regular basis in any case as these count towards your total email quota.

Documents on your computer

When you delete a document on your computer it hasn’t really gone anywhere at all. Normally it has just been relocated to the recycle bin. You should empty the recycle bin on a regular basis. Technically it is still possible to retrieve the document, but for most normal purposes we can assume that if it’s removed from the recycle bin it has gone. When your PC is decommissioned or passed on IS will always ensure that data left on the hard drive is overwritten to make it hard for anyone else to access it.

Documents on removable media

For a CD, memory key (USB drive) it’s just as easy to physically break it to prevent future access. If in doubt, contact the IT Helpdesk for advice.

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