Marco Island still has lots of guilty secrets and sensitive intel.

At least, one could conceivably draw that conclusion from the continuing massive popularity of the Iberia Bank “shred parties,” during which the bank brings an industrial truck-mounted shredder and offers to dispose of unwanted records and documents for a nominal fee.

Iberia held their most recent shredding event, and the first of 2018, Saturday morning outside the bank branch adjacent to Town Center Mall, and once again had a steady stream of customers. Assistant branch manager Laura Burgo acted as air traffic controller, waving cars into whichever of the two lanes for vehicles was open or had the shortest wait. She used promotional giveaway fans in each hand to direct traffic, also offering them to anyone who was perspiring on the warm morning.

Branch manager Laura Schneider – and yes, both Lauras agreed, it causes a little confusion having both people in charge at the branch share one first name – worked with a group from Marco Island’s American Legion Post 404, collecting bags and cardboard boxes full of old bills, cancelled checks and tax returns, sorting them out and readying them for the shredder.

The American Legion veterans were happy to volunteer, as their organization was the recipient of all the proceeds from the three dollars per bag or box collected along with the records. In all, said American Legion post commander Bill Horton, 11 members showed up to help out.

“We support veterans’ programs, we donate flags and grave markers for veterans. We just wrote a check to the Special Olympics, and we put on the Veterans Day celebration” at Veterans’ Community Park, said Horton.

Saturday marked the 26th Iberia shred party, said Schneider, and in the 25 previous events, over 117 tons of shredded documents were recycled, and more than $35,000 given away to area nonprofits.  “Both of these numbers will increase when we finalize Saturday’s numbers,” she said.

Past recipients have included the Marco Police Foundation, Avow Hospice, the Neighborhood Health Clinic, the Friends of Tigertail, and Phase One of the Veterans’ Memorial at Veterans’ Community Park. Each shred party has raised in the neighborhood of $1,500 or more.

Victor Soler of Shred-It, the company Iberia contracts with for the shredding and disposal, said his new truck, with an automated delivery system that takes bins full of paper into the teeth of the shredder, holds 8,000 lbs. of paper, and “we always fill it up at this event.” Cardboard boxes were flattened and delivered separately to the Marco Island recycling facility at 771 E. Elkcam Circle.

Schneider warned a photographer to ensure no documents were visible in photos from the shredding, and the words “gas bill,” the only ones legible in a photo, were blurred out, although it was not evident whose sensitive gas bill was being disposed of. Joe Gaigal of the American Legion said he had been on the lookout for any tax returns marked “Trump,” but none had shown up.

If you missed Saturday’s shred party, but have papers you would like to shred, Iberia is holding their Shred Party #27 on Saturday, April 21 at their Pine Ridge office in Naples.


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