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Records disposal and recycling

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires an approved Certificate of Records Disposal prior to the disposal/destruction of any original public record. In other words, before you throw away and/or shred any original record you must fill out and submit a Certificate of Records Disposal for approval. The procedures are detailed below.

Recycling and reuse

Each year RMS sends tons of shredded records to Montgomery County recycling. In addition, dozens of three-ring binders, hundreds of used file folders, and thousands of paper clips are shipped to Surplus Property for reuse. These practices are RMS's contribution to Virginia Tech's sustainability initiatives.

Confidential and electronic records

We can also assist in the destruction of confidential documents or electronic records. The Federal Privacy Act requires the protection of an individual's social security number through shredding. Our industrial-sized shredder can help you shred your confidential records in large or small quantities.

Virginia Tech policy recommends the destruction of original university records when they are no longer needed by the university for administrative, legal, fiscal, or historical purposes. No original records may be disposed of without receiving an approved Certificate of Records Disposal from the University Records Manager. The Certificate of Records Disposal protects both office personnel and Virginia Tech by showing that public records are being destroyed in accordance with laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Determine eligibility for destruction
Records must first be identified by a record series code that identifies the record series and retention period in accordance with Virginia general schedules. Check the retention period to confirm that the records have been kept the correct length of time. Retention series code and retention period for many of your records can be found in the State records retention schedules . Please call us if you have any questions.
Request records destruction
Once you have determined that the records are eligible for destruction, complete the Certificate of Records Disposal online form. Once submitted you will receive a confirmation email.
Receive a hard copy of the Certificate of Records Disposal
Within a few business days of submitting the online form you will receive by campus mail a hard copy of your certificate signed by the University Records Manager. Labels for any boxes you wish to send to RMS for shredding, as well as a 10 item Shredding Guideline for you to follow, will be included.
Destroy the records
Upon receipt of the approved Certificate of Records Disposal form, nonconfidential records can be disposed by trashing or recycling. Confidential records (those containing social security numbers or sensitive information) can only be destroyed by shredding or degaussing/disabling electronic media. Departments can contact us for the use of our industrial-sized shredder. Departments may shred records after receiving a signed Certificate of Records Disposal. If you know that you want us to do your shredding, mark YES at the bottom of the Certificate of Records Disposal Form. Electronic media may be erased in our degausser or disabled by RMS. In the Certificate of Records Destruction online form indicate the number of items in the "Number of Boxes" column. Retention is specified in the GS110 guidelines. When you receive your signed Certificate, ship or bring the media to the RMS offices.

Certificate of records disposal instructions

  • Name: Enter your name. You should be your department's Records Coordinator (the person appointed by the department head to be the liaison to Records Management Services).
  • Department name: Enter the name of your department.
  • Email address: Enter your e-mail address.
  • Department number: Enter the standard three-digit code allocated to your department.
  • Postal code: Enter the mail code to which information will be sent from RMS.
  • Phone: Enter your phone number in case there are any questions.
  • Records series number: Enter the records series code number listed on the State records retention schedules for the particular records series. For example, "102-012082" is the records series code for "Accounts Receivable." If you're not sure of the records series code, please contact RMS.
  • Record title: Enter the complete title of the records series. Also include any additional information about the record that might be useful for reference purposes.
  • To and from date range: Check to be sure that the records have been retained for the minimum time set by the retention schedule. The dates of the records should be listed by month/year. They can be fiscal year (FY) or calendar year (CY). Unlike records to be stored, the description may include multiple years of the same records series (e.g., FY 2002-2005).
  • Number of boxes: State the number of boxes for destruction.
  • Shred/recycle: Select the button indicating if the corresponding records series should be shredded or recycled.
  • Do you need Records Management Services to shred confidential records? Select "Yes" if confidential records are to be shredded by RMS.

Use of the shredder

To have RMS shred confidential records, follow these steps.

  1. Request RMS to shred records when you submit your disposal form.
  2. Receive an approved Certificate of Records Disposal and destruction labels.
  3. Box documents and attach destruction labels. Any copier paper-sized box (preferably with a lid) is acceptable. Since the shredded records are recycled, please remove paper/binder clips, plastic, and carbon paper. Staples do not need to be removed. Please contact us if you need boxes.
  4. If you are transporting the boxes to the University Storage Facility, go to the loading dock and call us on the intercom for assistance. Please call us in advance to confirm the date and time of delivery. Directions to the University Storage Facility and loading dock are available.

Contact us

University Records & Information Governance
600 Energy Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Mail code: 0522

Phone 540-231-0224

Office hours

Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm

Document drop off hours

Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 12:00noon and 1:00pm - 4:30pm