It’s mid-morning and the First Mile London-based depot which houses our award-winning Sacktory (yes you read it right) is in full swing.

The 70 or so ultra-low emission vehicles of varying shapes and sizes have long since left for their morning round, the pickers who sort through the rubbish are hands deep in sorting and salvaging, and Haralambie, the loyal Site Manager is going about his daily checks.

But something different happens today.

As the heavy metal shutters to the warehouse are rolled up, an overbearing, surprisingly shiny, mechanical monster awaits to be brought to life. Even to the untrained eye, she’s an impressive, if not somewhat foreboding, piece of twenty-first-century technology. And it’s today that this new state of the art paper shredder embarks on her inaugural shift.

Powered by renewable energy, confidential document disposal is her forte. Capable of shredding 2 tonnes of paper an hour at a rate of over 6,500 sheets per minute, her somewhat clunky exterior should not be underestimated. And her shredding skills go beyond just paper. Coffee cup and card shredding is also part of her repertoire. ‘Coffee cups?’ I hear you say… Why yes. Once shredded, the humble coffee cup is recycled into shopping bags for many a well-known store.

Keys are turned, buttons pressed, and the shredder shudders into life, ready to fulfil her destiny under the watchful eye of several CCTV lenses. A lifetime of secure document destruction awaits. Sacks scanned, bags ripped open and mountains of paper sheets are tipped into her hungry mouth by the BS7858 accredited operatives. There they are shredded and then bulked, ready for secure transportation to their onward destination.

Arriving at the paper recycling facility, it’s not long before these shredded bails soon find themselves being turned back into recycled copier paper (which rather handily can be bought at the First Mile Shop). When 2.47 million trees are cut down every day to supply the world with paper, buying 100% recycled paper is the obvious, greener choice.

After an 8-hour non-stop shift, and having munched through a mere 16 tonnes of paper, our big green shredder is ready to retire for the day. A quick clean and brush of the teeth, and it’s lights out - until it repeats again tomorrow.