(LOS ANGELES, March 30, 2011) – The Automobile Club of Southern California, Cintas Service Professionals and ProtectMyID by Experian hosted a free neighborhood Shred-a-Thon over the weekend at Dodger Stadium to help deter identity theft and in the process recycled 28,875 pounds of paper (14 tons) and saved the equivalent of 245, 40-ft. Douglas Fir trees.
The event also saved 43 cubic yards of landfill. All shredded material will be recycled into home insulation. The free shredding event coincided with spring cleaning and income tax season.
An estimated 750 Auto Club members and residents brought banker boxes and paper grocery bags filled with junk mail, personal papers and financial statements for free on-site shredding. More than 11 million Americans were victims of identity theft last year, a 37 percent increase from 2008, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a California firm that studied identity theft threats.
The Javelin survey also showed that thieves stole $54 billion from identity theft victims of all ages and 18 to 24-year-olds who are active online were most at risk for ID theft.
"The community event highlighted the importance of destroying personal information properly, and critical step in guarding one’s identity, along with drawing attention to recycling and Earth Day,” said Denise Bialek, program manager of AAA Discounts.
Certified Cintas staffers loaded documents into 64-gallon bins, dumped them into trucks customized to shred large volumes of documents into pin-sized bits. Banker boxes and paper bags also were collected for shredding and recycling as well.
Those who visited the Shred-a-Thon received a re-useable blue canvas Auto Club tote bag to reduce plastic bag use.