BERNARDS TWP., NJ - It's time for out with the old - time for a safe and free opportunity for local residents to get rid of personal documents and mail that could be vulnerable to identity theft or fraud if thrown out with regular recyclables, or in the trash.

Because the service is being offered through Somerset County, residents from all 21 municipalities in the county can bring their personal documents be shredded on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Bernards Township Engineering Services Building, 277 S. Maple Avenue, in Basking Ridge. Two shred trucks will be in operation from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the trucks are filled to capacity, according to an announcement from Bernards Township.

Documents will be commercially safely, privately, and properly shredded by trained, licensed, and bonded document destruction specialists through the program.

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Staples and paperclips do not need to be removed from papers to be shredded. Residents can bring documents in up to six boxes, containers, or bags per visit and may stay and watch as their documents are shredded. Participants will be asked to take back their receptacles.

The following recyclable items will not be accepted: junk mail, magazines and newspapers, the township said.

“Operation Secure Shred” events are free of charge for Somerset County residents; pre-registration is not required. However, materials cannot be accepted from businesses.

Operation Secure Shred is sponsored by the Somerset County Board of Freeholders in cooperation with the county Department of Public Works. For more information, call 908-203-6018 or email 

Former Bernards Township Mayor Scott Spitzer first offered the shredding service to township residents several years ago. 

In case of inclement weather, please check the Bernards Township website for a possible cancellation.