Uncategorized · May 7, 2020

New is not Necessarily Better

While under the Stay at Home rule (MCO in Malaysia), I took the opportunity to clean up the home office and cleared it of old receipts and papers collected over the years. After 3 days of work, I ended up with a huge pile of paper waste.

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The product of years of receipts and collecting paper.

As some of the documents had our address and old bank account details, I didn’t want to just dispose of the paper as is. I didn’t want anyone going dumpster diving and piecing together some valuable information on me.

So I thought I would get a paper shredder to make it harder for dumpster divers and at the same time, make the pile easier to dispose of. I went surfing online at Shoppe and Lazada and learned an important social, economic and science lesson in the process.

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Sample of what a home use shredder looks like.

First, the social lesson. Equality is an illusion. Just because shredders eat the same thing, do the same thing and produce the same things, they are still not the same. Shredders are not created equal. There are shredders for home, office and industrial use, for light, medium and heavy-duty usage.

Although we may eat the same food, share the same activities and work in the same industries, we are ultimately our own selves. With our own skills, strengths and abilities.

Second, the economic lesson. Besides bin capacity, and volume limitation (6 x A4 sheets per time for example) shredders also have what is called a Duty Cycle.

A Duty Cycle goes like this. Some shredders can only work 3 min and then need to rest 20 to 30 min. In Malay I think its called Curi Tulang. In other places, it depends on how strong your worker union is, I suppose. If you are lucky, you work 4 days and rest 3 days.

Third, the science lesson. Shredders tend to overheat and hence the duty cycle. I recall my secondary school physics teacher saying that energy is released when elements transform. I suppose that is what’s happening here. A4 size changed to shredded size. Hence the release of energy in the form of heat.

What the lesson reminds me of is that any transformation or change will cause temperatures to rise.

With these socio-economic and scientific limitations in place, I estimate that with the amount of paper waste I have it would take me, oh about 30 years to finish shredding this pile of waste paper.

Luckily, before I decided to call it a day and set a match to ignite this mess of a socio-economic-scientific waste, I was presented with an old school solution.

And that is The Guillotine. Who needs a shredder when you can have a Guillotine. What’s a Guillotine?

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A Guillotine.

It is an affordably priced, eco-friendly, green solution with high capacity shredding capability. Although its primary use is for cutting paper and not shredding paper, it can still get the work done. It also has 2 in 1 benefits for the operator who can work their biceps while shredding the paper.

You may have even used one once in your past life.

And it came with the added lesson that sometimes new is not necessarily better.