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Shredding event draws crowds at EverBank Field

First Shredder Day shut down by troopers because traffic created safety hazard

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After traffic caused Thursday's free shredding event to close early, hundreds of cars dropped off tons of paper to be shredded Friday at a different, larger venue: parking lots northwest of EverBank Field. 

Giant shredders from Shred-it were held on grass parking lots for EverBank Field, off A. Philip Randolph Boulevard from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. Traffic backed up onto the street, but two drop-off lanes were moving.

"We had double the people that we had last year, and you know (Thursday's) venue was just not large enough to handle it," said Martha Cox, of Family Foundations. "So the city and SMG came through and we're here and we moved people through."

Cox said 10 truckloads of documents were shredded at Friday's event.

Brenda Toledo was among the hundreds of turned away when Thursday's evening was closed down. She came back on Friday.

"Yesterday was awful. Today is good though. This is a great place to have it, I think," Toledo said.  

Organizers said one thing that slows down the process is people bringing paper for shredding in plastic bags, which have to be emptied. Boxes or paper bags are preferred. 

"I have 15 years of tax returns; bank statements, Visa bills, everything," said Kelly Groce. "I finally cleaned house. I had bags and bags in my closet."

Another day of shredding scheduled for Saturday was postponed to May 16 because of conflicting events happening in the Sports Complex area this weekend.

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The final Shredder Day for this year will be 7 a.m. to noon May 16 in EverBank Field lots W, Y, XX  (see map).

The number of people trying to take advantage of Thursday's free shredding at the Winn-Dixie on Normandy Boulevard overwhelmed streets in the area, and the event was shut down by state troopers.

The event began at noon, but within an hour, traffic was backed up to Interstate 295 and the Florida Highway Patrol determined it was a traffic hazard.

This Positively Jax event is presented in partnership with Memorial Hospital, Shred-it, Family Foundations and Winn-Dixie as a service to help people and small businesses protect themselves from identity theft.

News4Jax's shredder days are part of Jacksonville's Fourth Annual Wise Money Week.