T. Rowe Price Hosted First-Ever Community Shred Event

In three hours, shred volunteers unloaded and helped recycle more than 9.5 tons of paper
Oct 5, 2016 10:45 AM ET
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On the morning of September 17, T. Rowe Price invited the greater Owings Mills, Maryland community to get financially organized and securely shred unneeded documents, free of charge.

More than 370 cars passed through T. Rowe Price’s Owings Mills campus during the three-hour event. Volunteers directed the flow of traffic and helped community members shred and recycle 9.5 tons of paper, equivalent to saving 161 trees and 28 cubic yards of landfill waste.

T. Rowe Price plans to continue hosting the event next year, after receiving much positive feedback and recognizing that its popularity highlights a need in the community. “We collaborate with the community and test new approaches to see what resonates,” says Kevin Shea, a manager in Corporate Social Responsibility.

“In the age of identity theft, the event demonstrated that there is a real demand in the community for securely disposing of sensitive documents. And we’re committed, as a financial firm, to provide solutions and help get the message out about document security,” says Kevin.

In a WBAL-TV interview, Kevin explained how people can decide which documents to shred and which they need to keep.

“Shred any documents that contain personal information—account numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth— including things that may not be obvious, such as prescription labels and even your signature,” Kevin said in the interview.

As a general rule, T. Rowe Price suggests following the Federal Trade Commission’s advice when it comes to shredding.

They recommend that some items be shredded immediately, which include:

  • Paid credit card statements

  • Paid utility bills

  • Unused credit card offers

  • ATM and bank receipts after the deposit/withdraw is reflected on your statement

  • Sales receipts unless you may return the item or need documentation for tax returns

  • Cancelled checks that are not tax related

  • Expired warranties

Other items that should be shredded after one year include:

  • Quarterly 401(k) and IRA account statements unless non-deductible contributions were made, then hold onto indefinitely

  • Bank statements unless may you apply for Medicaid, then hold onto for five years

  • Quarterly 529 college saving plan statements

  • Pay stubs

  • Paid, undisputed medical bills

For some items, it depends when they should be shredded, which include:

  • Investment account statements, if the statement shows that contributions have been made, they should be held until you close the account and pay any capital gains taxes

  • Insurance policies, which you should hold onto until a new policy is issued

  • Auto title, which you would want to keep as long as you own the vehicle

  • Home deed, which should be kept as long as you own the property

  • Disputed medical bills, which you can shred once the issue has been resolved

  • Home improvement receipts, which you should keep until you sell your house and pay any capital gains taxes

Certain documents should never be shredded. While some may say that tax returns should be kept for seven years, since that’s how long the IRS has to initiate an audit, the conservative approach is to never shred tax returns.

Other types of documents that should never be shredded include:

  • Birth certificates

  • Death certificates,

  • Social Security cards

  • Marriage decrees

  • Divorce decrees

  • Citizenship papers

  • Adoption papers

  • Military discharge papers

  • Estate planning documents

  • Pension plan documents