the information leakage through papers

paper is a medium that delivers information.
many other wastes also do contain information as we read from Calvino for sure.
however, paper contains information very, very precisely.
this article shows such aspect of paper which we found interesting for our project.

Private papers found in trash

Law director not sure how documents got into the recycling Dumpster without being shredded.

MIDDLETOWN — For several weeks, a mound of city documents containing Social Security numbers, phone numbers and carbon copies of checks filled a Dumpster at Smith Park, where they were accessible to anyone.

The Journal received a tip that led to the discovery of countless junked records containing personal information for Middletown residents, along with blueprints, contracts and tax papers.

Most appear to have originated in the city’s public works and utilities department, with a few from the police and finance departments.

City Manager Judy Gilleland said normal records policy calls for documents of that nature to be shredded and not simply thrown away.

“We typically … have the Shred-it company come on site and take care of everything,” Gilleland said. “I don’t know why we would be dumping in Smith Park, other than those are our Dumpsters.”

Law Director Les Landen said he is not sure how confidential documents got into the recycling Dumpster, but he suspects they started in a recycling bin within the city building. Every piece of recycled paper from the city building eventually ends up in the container at Smith Park, according to Landen.

“Somebody made a mistake and threw something away that should have been shredded,” Landen said. “We do have a policy and process for getting rid of confidential and sensitive documents, but that clearly was not followed here.”

While Landen is not sure an incident like this would expose the city to potential legal action, he said it is still “a practice we do not condone.”

“We need to make sure our employees know where the material is going after it leaves their offices,” Landen said. “Sometimes situations like this help us self-check ourselves.”

A similar incident of public information being improperly disposed occurred last summer when attorney William Bowen’s office dumped stacks of business and real estate case files in a downtown public trash bin.

Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2871 or at



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