NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — For some Shred Fest was a chance to fight identity theft, for Leslie it was an event 15 years in the making.

She tossed stacks of paperwork from her doctoral dissertation, which had been cluttering her closet, into a shredder in Union Square on Sunday.

“I’ve been holding onto the original data with the names of the subjects and I needed to get rid of it,” she told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

For Leslie it wasn’t just about clearing out the mess, but upholding her ethical obligation to maintain privacy.

“That could not fall into the wrong hands. I’d be breaching the confidentiality that I guarantee people,” she said.

Lion Cage spokesperson Eli Rowe said that in this day and age identity theft is a real concern.

“People actually make a livelihood of going through people’s garbage and then taking secure data,” Rowe said.

All of those sensitive documents have been pulverized and were ready to be recycled.

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