One of the consequences of being an organisation that has been around for 40+ years is that we have accumulated a lot of junk. Old emails, newspaper articles, manuals on how to install HF Codans, recipe books (eh?), leadership seminar evaluation feedback forms, countless transparencies on how to manage your interpersonal skills, old Annual Reports, agreements with donors on funding for wells from 1999.
We do have a shredder. It is a fragile and gentle creature, unaccustomed to hard work and resistant to the idea of document destruction. Consequently, it shreds two pieces of paper at a time, works for for 5 minutes, and then needs a good rest for two hours.
So we have resorted to the time-tested approach of incineration. But believe me, burning the 30 or so trunks of documents we have, is also quite the job. Paper burns great one or two sheets at a time, but throw in a ream or two and you get a lot of singed edges and a whole lot of very readable remains. So we now have teams of staff, scrunching paper, throwing it in the two burn barrels, stirring up the burning contents, shovelling out the ash. It would be a pretty nice job in winter. In 40˚ summer, during Ramazan, it is less popular.