On Friday, July 20th, 2018, New York City Council Member, Diana Ayala visited AHRC New York City’s SHREDability headquarters, located in Ms. Ayala’s 8th Council District in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. SHREDability provides secure document destruction for private companies, government agencies, and individuals while employing over 20 people with developmental disabilities.
“As the Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction, I was thrilled to visit SHREDability, a non-profit business committed to employing people with disabilities and ensuring they can live productive, fulfilling lives,” said Council Member Ayala. “I thank the staff for welcoming me and teaching me about recycling, sustainability, and socially responsible business practices.”
A Unique Business
“We are constantly exploring new areas in business,” Salvador Moran, Assistant Director of AHRC NYC’s Employment and Business Services, said to Councilwoman Ayala and her staff members. “To an extent, you need an entrepreneurial spirit to create ideal work for the people we support.”
SHREDability began in 2011. “We went through a process where we threw ideas around that could generate jobs for people we serve, secure document destruction being one of them,” Sal recalled. “It gave us the opportunity to craft a different type of work that is consistent and people that have significant disabilities can do.”
“We have certain jobs that are repetitive, so they can really do it,” Francisco Arbizu, Site Manager, said. He has been with SHREDability nearly since the start. “We have more work now; we’ve gone from one truck to two trucks and we’re shooting for a third one. Productivity wise, the employees have improved so much. We made one-to-two bales a day and now we make eight-to-10. We learned a lot from the industry and it’s a much more stable business now.”
Steve Towler, Vice President of Programs and Business Development, said that AHRC NYC entered into a partnership with SourceAmerica, which provided start-up funds and helped secure a contract with the Internal Revenue Service to shred its highly sensitive documents.
Secure and Sustainable
SHREDability has received commendations for its excellence in secure document destruction from a number of entities, including the New York City Department of Investigation and the National Association for Information Destruction.
“When we started in 2011, we were shredding 4-5 tons of paper a month,” Steve said. “Now, we are shredding 50-60 tons of paper per month. We save over 26,000 trees per year this way. What we do here is really unique and special.”
Council Member Ayala came away impressed with her visit to SHREDability. “I look forward to supporting the operation and establishing a long-lasting partnership [with SHREDability],” said Council Member Ayala.