COPPERAS COVE — Residents thwarted would-be thieves Saturday by taking advantage of an opportunity to properly dispose of their personal documents, while helping the environment at the same time.
Residents pulled up with their trunks, backseats and floorboards full of boxes of paperwork that contained their names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other private information that could result in identity theft.
The papers were turned over to volunteers of the The National Bank and Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful as part of the city’s free Shred-It Day.
Helen Burr, who volunteered on behalf of the bank, said organizers expected to collect 1,200 pounds of paper during the Saturday’s event.
Fort Hood will pick up the mounds of paper and they will be destroyed off-site by certified security staff.
“I am turning in lots of personal paperwork and am so glad that the city of Copperas Cove came up with this idea.
I had gotten behind shredding (documents) myself,” said Cove resident Vera Swaney. “Protecting yourself this way is important.”
Swaney worked as a security manager for four years as a civil servant, where she dealt with identity theft that occurred when personal papers were accessed.
“I had a security clearance for 36 years and know firsthand what can happen if you do not guard your personal information,” Swaney said.
Silvia Rhoads of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful said she received several calls from residents who were cleaning out their closets and wanted to know where they should recycle the documents securely.
“We do joint projects with Fort Hood, and this project helps to expand and build on that partnership and increase our partnership in the community with The National Bank,” Rhoads said.
Shred-It Day was held in conjunction with America Recycles Day, which stresses the benefits of recycling and educates the public to raise awareness about the value of reducing, reusing and recycling various products.