Problem: A common misunderstanding with technical and business folks is the details of how the recycle bin works. I missed some of the finer points so I thought I'd record my note.
First stage recycle Bin - User deletes a document and the document goes to the user's recycle bin/1st stage recycle bin. The 1st stage recycle bin retention period is 30 days by default. Items in the first stage recycle bin are moved to the second stage recycle bin after the retention period is over or the user chooses to delete the item from their 1st stage recycle bin.
Second stage recycle bin or Site Collection recycle bin - where documents go after they are removed from the 1st stage recycle bin. SCA can restore or permanently delete the documents from the 2nd stage recycle bin.
|Recycle bin explained for Office 365 - as of May 2016|
Note: An item that I have not understood for multiple years is that the retention period for recycle bins applies to both the 1st and 2nd stage recycle bin. If the recycle bin retain content for 30 days and the user deletes a document, then 22 days later they delete the document from their own 1st stage recycle bin. The document only stays in the 2nd stage/site collection recycle bin for 8 days. From Nik Patel's site "In other words, total time spent by the item in both recycle bins".
Note: If you do not have access to the farm settings, you can see how long the retention period for the recycle bin is by deleting a document/item from the 2nd stage recycle bin, you get a confirmation box that let's you know the setting. This approach allows me to see that Office365 SharePoint sites hold recycle bin items for 93 days.
|In the Site Collection Admin (2nd Stage) recycle bin delete an item to see how long the retention period is set to.|
Basics of Recycle bins from Microsoft
Nik Patel has a good article on how the recycle bin works