OAKLAND — It started Dec. 10, 2010, with a question from a resident on the Oakland Transfer Station’s Facebook page.

“Has the transfer station ever thought of hosting a ‘shredding on-site’ truck for a day to allow residents to have personal documents shredded to help prevent identity theft? And to help reduce the number of people who are burning these items and creating needless smog in our community?”

Mike Bouford, the transfer station’s manager, replied back that same day, saying he would look into it.

The result can be seen this Friday with a free, three-hour service at the transfer station, which is on Town Farm Road. Oakland property owners may come from 9 a.m. to noon to have personal documents shredded in a large truck.

Bouford said it’s a good opportunity, as he and other transfer station workers have seen residents deliver highly personal documents for recycling that are better off shredded.

“Documents with Social Security numbers, credit card information, bank statements — very sensitive stuff,” Bouford said.

While garbage at the transfer station is sent to Penobscot Energy Recovery Company facility in Orrington, where it is incinerated and converted into electricity, the recycled material is bailed and sold to other companies for re-use, Bouford said. The recycled material can end up in different states or even different countries, including Canada or China, he said.

With identity theft a serious problem, Bouford thinks the shredding service can help residents dispose of documents and have peace of mind.

The shredder will be self-contained in a large truck and there is no limit on how much material can be shredded, Bouford said.

The service, which will cost the town $150, will be performed by Shredding On-Site, of Waterville. Company owner Craig Lefebvre said he does shredding for a couple of other towns, including Augusta and Damariscotta.

Lefebvre said the shredded materials are bailed, processed, and mostly re-used by paper mills throughout the state.

Bouford isn’t sure how many people to expect for the shredding service.

“I’m hoping to get a good turnout, so the town can be convinced to do this every year,” Bouford said. “I’d say 50 people would be pretty good.”

Scott Monroe –861-9239

[email protected]

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