HUDSON — For the past seven years, The Columbia County KISS Program has been offering seniors the opportunity to shred their sensitive documents free of charge by dropping their documents off at their local town halls. 2020 proved to be a year unlike any other with Covid-19 striking and closing or halting “business as usual” most places. Amid rising tensions and fear of the unknown, Columbia County Clerk and founder of the KISS Program, Holly Tanner decided it was important to keep as much normalcy as possible, especially for our most vulnerable seniors. The KISS program continued to run throughout 2020 with the assistance of the dedicated crew at Certified Document Security and the Columbia County Clerk’s office.

The KISS Program will once again become available to seniors in every participating town in Columbia County from March 15 through March 26. The KISS Program stands for Keeping the Identities of Seniors Safe and was designed to protect the identities of our seniors while assisting them in the shredding of their sensitive materials. Much of what we toss in the trash should actually be shredded for our own safety. Again, this is a completely free program in which seniors are able to dispose of their sensitive documents they no longer need, discretely and securely at zero cost to them and zero cost to county taxpayers. Seniors can bring their sensitive materials (old credit card receipts, bank statements, tax records..etc) to their local Town Hall and place them in a locked 64 gallon container. The container is kept secure until Certified Document Security removes the container and brings it to their facility in New Lebanon for shredding.

Extra safety and protection measures have been implemented to ensure the well-being of seniors participating in the program including regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, cleaning of all parts of the shredding truck, cleaning and disinfecting of all countertops, doors and door handles, floors, pens, and any and all equipment and furniture at all county buildings, daily sanitization of shredding bins before and after usage, proper ventilation of all work areas, proper hygiene and usage of PPE (personal protective equipment including but not limited to face masks etc.), washing and sanitizing hands, employees isolating and/or self-quarantining when ill, practicing proper social distancing at all times, and overall adhering to any and all safety protocols at all times.

This program is available quarterly and has just wrapped up its 4th quarter of 2020, which ran from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, 2020 and saw seniors shred 2,962 pounds of paper. Since the program’s inception in 2013, the program has grown from two towns participating to all 18 towns in the County participating, including the City of Hudson. The amount of paper that has been shredded through the program has grown leaps and bounds as well. In 2013, 300 total pounds of paper was shredded through the program. Since then, a total of 65,138 pounds (32.5 tons) of paper has been shredded which would have otherwise been lingering around, causing clutter, and compromising the security and identity of the senior. Despite Covid-19, seniors were still able to shred a total of 9,968 pounds of paper in 2020 and the numbers continue to grow, showing what a valuable resource the KISS program is for seniors.

Seniors are encouraged to contact their local Town Hall for hours of operation and more information on the program. Future dates for the KISS Program will be June 7-June 26. Justin Weaver, Columbia County Clerk’s Records Services Manager, is overseeing the program and can also be contacted with any questions at 518-822-0143.

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