A demo crew in Philadelphia is changing the way developers and builders take apart old buildings.

Greg Trainor started Philadelphia Community Corps. roughly two years ago and used to travel to demo sites on a bus with a backpack full of sledgehammers, crowbars, and shovels. Now, he drives a truck, employs three crew members, and has a 20,000-square-foot warehouse where he holds classes for learning partnerships for students who want to be OSHA-certified deconstruction technicians.

Trainor's company also salvages and recycles materials from his demo sites, allowing the developers and contractors who hire him to write off the demo as a tax credit for now putting the materials in a landfill. His system is more costly, but Trainor says the tax deduction usually covers the cost of his work, essentially giving his partners nearly free demolition services.

Greg says the Philadelphia Community Corps is essentially an environmental alternative to hiring a demolition contractor:

“Instead of doing that, they get to say we’re partnering with a non profit. They’re employing seven times as many people as the demolition contractor would have employed. They’re keeping 90% of the materials out of the landfill. And the tax deductions sometimes even cover the cost of hiring us, so we’re essentially a free building material removal service.”

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