Far more people in the past (and now) did not consider the data held on hard drives, and would call the recycling guy to come down and “haul” their junk to be “recycled”. Like anything in life, all business and work ethic are not created equally. Some of that “recycled” equipment and hard drives that were supposed to be “junked” in fact ended up on online auction sites, and sold locally. This, then and now is a PR nightmare, and can often times never be undone.
Especially if the data on the hard drives was extracted by someone who shouldn’t have it. Remember that your companies name is attached to the equipment as well, so we wouldn’t want to hear reports of “junked” equipment being found with your asset tag or serial number down by the local river.