Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Neighbors dispatch old documents to paperwork heaven

If there was a shred of doubt that people have more old documents than they know what to do with, Saturday’s second-annual Shred-a-thon turned that idea into confetti.

More than two tons of old tax records, business receipts and vintage real estate appraisals showed up at Asbury Elementary in boxes, cars and wheelbarrows. The paper was fed box by box through a grinder until all that was left were recyclable pieces.

“We had about 100 people, many with truck-loads of material,” said Liz Ullman, president of University Neighbors, which organized the event. “We processed about 200 boxes.”

At $5 a box plus donations, the take on the day added up to about $1,100. University Neighbors plans to use the proceeds for outreach projects, specifically an ice-cream social in August that the group hopes will better connect neighbors and lengthen its reach into the community.

“People really seem to enjoy our events because they are not only productive, they are social,” Ullman says. “Friendships have formed through University Neighbors, and we are enjoying a growing interest in the organization.”

University Neighbors represents residents from Buchtel Boulevard south to the city limits and from University Boulevard west to Downing Street. But Saturday’s Shred-a-thon was for the whole community, attracting anyone with documents to destroy. Patrons dropped by Asbury Elementary School over about three hours, where they sipped donated Kaladi’s coffee and watched the ProShred Mobile Shredding Truck bump and grind old phone bills and mortgage statements into chaff.

By the time it was over, University Neighbors volunteers were gluing together shreds of ideas for community events of the future. Discussions will continue at the group’s next meeting, which is 6:30 p.m. June 17 at Christ Lutheran Church, 2695 S. Franklin St. For more information, visit

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