Hurricane Featured in’s Spotlight

An intimate interview explaining Hurricane’s best practices

November 2012 – This month, is featuring Hurricane in the Spotlight, a premier space on their website dedicated to giving a more intimate introduction of a selected business for customers.

Thumbtack isn’t like typical local search directories; it actually gives you the ability to vet, contact, and book service professionals the moment you find them. For a customer, it’s like shopping for services and asking companies to bid on their request. Quite frankly, it’s the new way to do on-line shopping for homeowners!

In the last few months, Hurricane has being experimenting with Thumbtack to enhance our list of customer leads in the Bay Area. To see Hurricane’s Spotlight, click here and see the right column entitled “Thumbtack Spotlight.”

Or read the whole thing here:

How did your business/company start, and what was the greatest challenge that you encountered along the way?

Paul Sonnabend started a hauling business in 1989 and his brother, David Sherman, signed on as co-owner a few years later. Originally, Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. serviced only Marin County but with extra manpower and a growing need for demolition, we added the deconstruction, demolition, tree and yard services for Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. We saw an opportunity to keep everything we were hauling out of the landfill by recycling or repurposing items.

Besides maintaining our own family-business during a fluctuating economy, the greatest challenge we encountered along the way has been competing against non-local, corporations in the same industry. For any small company, corporate franchises with nationwide support and unlimited, financial resources are a realistic threat. We have managed to keep our loyal customers and reach new ones with personal service, efficient work, and competitive prices.

How would you describe your usual clients in terms of status, needs, and level of satisfaction toward your services?

Our commercial clients are often general contractors looking for subcontractors to do large-scale demolition or deconstruction projects in the Bay Area. They can also include restaurant, gallery, school, museum, and store owners.

Our residential clients are homeowners, property owners, real estate agencies, or renters who are doing remodels, renovations, or site cleanup. Their needs usually peek during the summer or fall months when they need us to do the heavier, seasonal debris hauling.

Not many other demolition companies can offer specialized deconstruction or the ability to recycle 80%-100% of the materials that are hauled away, in bio-fueled trucks no less. Homeowners can receive a tax dedication for 30% of the value of the salvaged materials, which is usually assessed by a professional appraiser. Although deconstruction costs are higher than those of demolition because of time and labor, that cost is offset and sometimes surpassed with the tax deductions in the end.

What do you think is the most effective strategy to keep your customers happy and satisfied with your service?

Our most effective strategy to provide high quality services is to be professional throughout our entire relationship with our customers. To us, this means maintaining responsibility for our crew and site; showing up and finishing on time; being responsive to requests; and communicating clearly with clients. And most of all, it means leaving a site cleaner than we found it! We value having our residential clients tell us how they love having our friendly crew around their house! The best compliment they can give us is referring us to their friends and family.

What was your most favorite and successful project? 

One of our most favorite projects was the recent deconstruction of a 3,500 square foot house in Mill Valley with James Josephs Construction. All the lumber, fixtures, appliances, and other salvaged items were donated to charities or salvage yards. The fact that hardly anything ended up in the landfill was validation enough that deconstruction really does work and that there is a true need for demolition companies to rethink their idea of “unusable.”  The homeowner even ended up getting a significant tax break because he didn’t demolish the house. Plus, it’s always a success when everything runs smoothly, on time, and without injury. The space we cleared was even more beautiful without the house.

In a short line, how would you entice your potential consumers to book your service?

  “We are in the business of sustainability.” We approach our services with the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Every time a potential customer contacts us, we see it as an opportunity to keep waste out of the landfill and educate others about ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

We’re fun guys! Check out our clip on Eye on the Bay – The Bay Area’s Unique Jobs!

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. Contributes to the 2012 San Francisco Green Festival

November 10th & 11th, 2012 – Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. attended the 2012 San Francisco Green Festival this past weekend at the Concourse Exhibition Center. The annual event, hosted by Global Exchange and Green America, is dedicated to sustainability, social justice, and ecological balance in U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Hurricane’s booth was prime for foot traffic in the Conservation/Recycle section. A beautiful wall of Hurricane’s salvaged 100-year-old redwood lumber was constructed and displayed in the booth. “This weekend was very valuable for us in terms of networking, lead building, and of course, spreading awareness of the benefits of deconstruction,” said Hurricane’s Marketing Manager who spearheaded the event. “It’s an empowering experience when like-minded people with a shared passion for the environment are collaborating under one roof!”

This year, over 25,000 people attended. The Festival also featured engaging DIY demonstrations, provocative cinema, renowned keynote speakers, and non-stop “eco-edu-tainment”. Thematic pavilions and stages focused on green business, green building, renewable energy, fair trade, healthy lifestyle, sustainable home, organic gardening, do-it-yourself modern homesteading. Other features included a Green Kids Zone, Community Action Pavilion, Organic Cooking Stage, Organic Food Court and Organic Beer & Wine and Garden.



Deconstruction is Praised In Fairfax

Did you know:

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves an amount of energy equivalent to half that can filled with gasoline?
  • Every Sunday, more than 500,000 trees are used to produce the 88% of newspapers that are never recycled?
  • North Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour?

The local nonprofit group Sustainable Fairfax does! They are spreading the word of responsible consumerism when it comes to trash. And they are doing it by getting the public to ‘trash talk’ – like last week’s event: Trash Talk: Panel & Discussion.

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. was there to support the movement and educate listeners about Deconstruction, the eco-friendly version of demolition, and the benefits of re-purposing materials. Not only do we practice zero-waste on our job sites but also in the office. Click here to learn more about our Sustainability practices or our Deconstruction service.

Attendees included Moderator Pam Hartwell-Herrero, Mayor of Fairfax, and Panelists Kim Scheibly, Outreach and Communications Coordinator for Marin Sanitary District; Andy Peri, Founding Member of Green Sangha and Rethink Plastics; Rebecca Burgess, Founder of the Fibershed and Author of Harvesting Color; Carrie Bachelder, Owner of The Away Station in Fairfax. The zero waste movement seeks to minimize the common, yet needless, practice of waste disposal in our dumps, landfills, and incinerators by changing the practices and policies of government, producers and individual households.  Thanks to the collaboration of Sustainable Fairfax and the Marin Sanitation Service, the residents and businesses of Fairfax will reduce waste, reuse as much as possible, and recycle what’s left. Read more information about Sustainable Fairfax’s Zero Waste initiative.

Hurricane Hauling Now Using 100% Renewable Energy

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. switched to Marin Clean Energy Deep Green, a 100% renewable energy source in partnership with PG&E. We are honored to have the opportunity to help this initiative succeed in Marin County. It’s yet another way we can take charge of our impact, and be the difference we want to see in the world.

All Marin residents and businesses are applicable for either Deep Green or Light Green, 50% renewable energy. According to Marin Clean Energy, “Deep Green renewable energy is purchased entirely from non-polluting, renewable wind farms located in Washington State. It’s Green-e Energy certified so you know that Deep Green contains only new renewable resources that are independently verified.” Using 100% renewable energy is a step in the right direction to reduce global warming and severe pollution.

The additional cost of Deep Green 100% renewable energy is just a penny more per kilowatt-hour. Here in the office, we use an average of 350 KwH per month, which means we’re paying just $3.50 extra. How easy is that?!

Read more about Marin Clean Energy.

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. Wins Award for Environmental Sensitivity in Business

Bay Area Green Business’s Commitment to Sustainable Practices Gains Attention of Like-minded Organizations

SAN RAFAEL, CA, April 18, 2012 — Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc., a Marin-based demolition, deconstruction, and hauling company, today announced that it has been awarded The John M. McPhail, Jr. Green Business Award for successfully demonstrating how green business practices can generate success within a traditional business model. The Marin Conversation League (MCL) will honor Hurricane Hauling with this award at its Annual Awards Dinner on April 20th at the Homeward Bound New Beginnings Center in Novato. The John M. McPhail, Jr. Green Business Award annually recognizes a business in Marin County which exemplifies environmental sensitivity in business and has supported and improved communication between the business and environmental communities.

Since 1989, Hurricane Hauling’s office operations and services have included a variety of sustainable practices. Owners Paul Sonnabend and David Sherman strive to recycle or re-purpose more than 75% of the debris collected during demolition, deconstruction, hauling, tree and yard projects in order to keep waste out of landfills. This EPA Lead-Safe certified company works closely with the Marin Resource Recovery Center to responsibly dispose of concrete, dirt, clean yard waste, metal, electronics, construction waste, and more. Their vehicles utilize alternative fossil fuel by operating EPA and industry certified reclaimed biodiesel (ASTM D6751) for their fleet of trucks, emitting 67% fewer unburned hydrocarbons, 48% less carbon monoxide, and 47% fewer particulates. To decrease the waste going to the landfill, salvaged materials – including appliances, art, furniture, lumber, and construction materials – are stored in Hurricane Hauling’s warehouse until re-purposed or sold to local customers. Select services include tax incentives for customers to re-purpose building materials which are donated to approved local 501c(3) salvage yards and organizations. Even Hurricane Hauling’s office operations comply with the California Green Business Program as a certified Bay Area Green Business.

“We are honored to be recognized among the greenest companies in Marin,” states Sherman. “We are committed to continually improving our operations and services to enhance our community, protect the environment, and raise the bar for industry responsibilities.” Hurricane Hauling will be one of six awardees chosen by a panel of MCL directors, members, and staff. Sherman and consultant Lisa Chipkin will receive the award on the company’s behalf.

Hurricane Hauling’s recent green awards also include the PacificSun Best of Marin in 2009, 2010, and 2011; Best of the Bay by BayList; Bay Area Green Business certification; and Sustainable 6 Award by CA Legislature Assembly Member Jared Huffman.

About Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc.

Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc. specializes in deconstruction, demolition, debris hauling & cleanup, tree and yard services. A licensed, bonded, and fully insured Bay Area Green Business, we operate in the greater Bay Area. Since 1989, we have been salvaging materials from residential and commercial projects. Our mission is to provide high quality service at affordable rates with the goal of reducing, reusing, recycling, and re-purposing materials for the benefit of our customers, through incentives like tax write-offs, and our environment. Visit

Media Contact:

Tiffany Douglass
Hurricane Hauling & Demolition, Inc.
55B De Luca Place
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 456-3407