I was tidying up and found some old tape backups from years ago:
I couldn’t just throw them out as they might have had clients’ data on them (unlikely but quite possible). Hence the blurring of the photo for security reasons – nothing to do with bad photography!
Remove two screws and you have a small set of parts:
Now unwind the tape off the spools and collect it into a “scrunch”.
Chop through the scrunch with a pair of scissors – four or five cuts turns it into about 100 short lengths of tape.
To show how small some of the pieces end up, here’s a closeup.
And as a side benefit, the little tape reels just cry out “use me in a Science Fiction themed prop”. They are about 20mm across.
Of course, there were a bunch of CDs as well. They met an 8mm drill bit in the drill press.
A technique which actually works quite well with the larger Zip (100MB) and Jaz (1GB) disks.
None of this would stop the CIA from recovering (most of) the information, but your average “go through your rubbish and see what I can find” chappie would have a lot more trouble.