Mass shredding day at the Fort Jackson recycling center is coming up in a few short weeks. Now is the time to start collecting sensitive documents, old bills and bank statements for shredding and protecting your identity for the Aug. 21 shred day.

When it comes to stealing someone's identity, one man's trash truly is another thief's treasure.
Throwing away old bank, credit card and billing statements in your home's regular trash or recycling bins can lead to identity theft. This includes credit card offers as well.

While it may be tempting to just toss them away, it's not wise to do so.

According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, an online database of consumer complaints, in 2011 more than 1.8 million complaints were filed that included identity theft and fraud complaints. This number is more than triple the number of complaints filed in 2001 and each year those numbers continue to increase. As technology advances, scams, identity theft and fraud schemes have become more elaborate and sophisticated.

Still today, thieves continue to use the simplest means of theft and trash diving to gain access to personal information. To help combat fraud, theft and to help reduce carbon footprints, the recycle center is offering a mass shred day.

"Anything that is confidential that you don't want to throw in the trash, you can bring it over here," said Ernest Dicks, business manager for the Fort Jackson Recycling Center. "It's open to Fort Jackson and the surrounding communities."

Dicks said a trusted vendor will be on-site to collect and shred materials on the spot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. While community members are encouraged to bring personal sensitive paperwork, Fort Jackson units are encouraged to attend as well. This will offer units an opportunity to dispose of any excess or outdated training materials, memorandums and any additional paperwork piling up.

"It's the right thing to do," Dicks said. "We don't want anything about you to get off Fort Jackson and for someone to get their hands on it."

The shred day is scheduled for Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Jackson recycling center located at 5671 Lee Road and open to all DoD ID cardholders. For additional information, call 751-4208.