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Correct disposal of confidential waste

Correct disposal of confidential waste

Material containing confidential information must be disposed of in the correct way.

With many office moves and “spring cleans” underway, it is highly likely that colleagues may come across confidential paper waste or confidential IT items to dispose of. 

The disposal of confidential waste forms an essential part of the University’s compliance with the Data Protection Act. Colleagues are reminded that confidential waste bags must be used for the disposal of paper items. 

Confidential waste bags are large white paper bags marked up ‘Securico – Paper for Shredding’.  If you have a stock of old bags (blue plastic ones, “Shred-it” bags or anything else) please ask waste@reading.ac.uk to swap them for up to date ones. 

Examples of items that should be placed in confidential waste bags are:

  • Personal information regarding identifiable individuals, including email correspondence, course administration, dates of birth, home addresses, and third party data (e.g. from research/partners/suppliers) involving identifiable individuals.
  • Sensitive personal information regarding mental and physical health information, extenuating circumstances, fitness to practice paperwork, HR files and student records, and records relating to union membership or disciplinary or criminal matters.
  • Financial records, third party data (e.g. from research/partners/suppliers) held with an expectation of confidence or containing commercially sensitive information, and data that could present a security or fraud risk to the university or others.
  • Please note this is not an exhaustive list– if in doubt contact imps@reading.ac.uk

Confidential waste bags are only intended for the disposal of paper. As we shred the paper disposed of in these bags, they are not suitable for items such as ring binders, plastic comb binders or plastic wallets/covers.    

Requests for the disposal of confidential paper waste can be made at the Confidential Waste Collections page. 

Information on the correct procedures for disposing IT equipment (including confidential items such as USB sticks) can be found on the Reuse and Disposal page. 

Colleagues are reminded that when waiting for collection, confidential waste should be stored securely to prevent unauthorised access, ideally in an office or secure cupboard that will be locked when unattended.

Any surplus confidential waste bags should be returned to our Porters. Do not use surplus waste bags for general recycling or rubbish.

Please contact waste@reading.ac.uk if you have any enquiries on the disposal process. 

To find out more on the classification of confidential material or Data Protection please contact imps@reading.ac.uk.

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