CUIMC Community Braves Downpour for Shred Fest, Ride-Your-Bike-to-Campus Day

Attendees are shown at a display table at the annual Bike-to-Campus Day and Shred Fest at Columbia University Irving Medical Center on April 26, 2019.
Attendees gather at the annual Ride-Your-Bike-to-Campus Day and Shred Fest at Columbia University Irving Medical Center on April 26, 2019. (Credit: Sirin Samman)

Friday was a chilly day with heavy rain in the afternoon, but that didn’t put much of a damper on the spirits of those who run the annual Shred Fest, Electronics Destruction, and Ride-Your-Bike-to-Campus Day at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The annual event was organized by Columbia Public Safety.

Public Safety representatives pitched tents and offered medical center faculty, staff, students, and local residents free bike tuneups, low-cost bike locks, and free secure disposal of personal computer hard drives, other electronics, and sensitive documents.

“People were lining up here in their cars, waiting for the shred truck to come,” Ricardo Morales, assistant director for crime prevention programs at Columbia Public Safety, told CUIMC Today. Morales said two trucks’ worth of paper, computer hard drives, and other electronics were turned in for disposal and recycling.

A man throws his unwanted computer hard drive into a secure disposal bin at the annual Shred Fest and Bike-to-Campus Day event at Columbia University Irving Medical Center on April 26, 2019.
A man discards a computer hard drive at the annual Shred Fest and Ride-Your-Bike-to-Campus Day event at Columbia University Irving Medical Center on April 26, 2019. (Credit: Sirin Samman)

Pamela Shively, a training and special projects associate with the medical center’s environmental health and safety office, stopped by on her way to a meeting and bought a bike helmet. This was the first Shred Fest for Shively, who has been at Columbia for just over a year.

“I just brought my bike from storage and have started riding to work,” she said. “I appreciate Columbia providing the event and so many ways to help our environment.”

People also welcomed the chance to register their bikes with the NYPD. Several brought laptops and other devices to receive an electronic “tattoo”—a free ID number that is used in a nationwide recovery program. Representatives from Velocity Ride, Sustainable Columbia, and the NYPD also were present to talk with attendees and share information.

Anyone who wants to take advantage of other opportunities to shred personal documents may do so at a Shred Fest run by the city of New York on May 18 and 19. Find locations and other information.