green initiative 

The City of Hawthorne has made a concerted effort to increase its energy efficiency. These efforts have included big projects as well as fundamental changes in operations. Energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability in general, has become a priority that shapes the City’s decisions on all projects and activities. In addition, the City has worked to educate the community as a whole about the benefits of energy efficiency.

All of this has led the City to Gold Level designation in the Southern California Edison (SCE) Energy Leadership Partnership. In conjunction with SCE and the Gas Company, the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCOG) has established the Partnership as a way to recognize and reward cities for their conservation efforts. Hawthorne is one of only two cities in the South Bay that has reached the Gold level, recognizing the City for 10% reduction in overall energy use.

Some of the highlights of the City’s efforts are:

Installation of a 210kW photovoltaic solar power system on the Memorial Center 
Funded in part by the Federal ARRA program, this project installed over 1000 photovoltaic panels on the Memorial Center roof. This produces over 300 megawatt hours of energy annually and saves the City over $40,000 per year in energy costs, while eliminating 350 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

LED retrofits of all traffic signals;

In 2007, the City replaced traffic lights at 45 intersections with energy efficient LED lights. This resulted in a savings of over 500,000 kWh annually.

City Hall Outdoor Lighting
The induction lighting recently installed in the outdoor areas surrounding City Hall uses 50% the energy of the previous lighting and will last five times longer, thus reducing both energy and maintenance costs.

Hawthorne Municipal Pool Improvements
In addition to constructing two brand new swimming pools, this 2008 project installed a more energy efficient boiler system as well as induction lighting that uses one third the energy of the existing lights.

Other Projects Include:

  • Use of more than 24 million gallons of reclaimed water for irrigation purposes
  • Joining ICLEI and establishing carbon footprint and corresponding climate action plan

  • City-wide energy audits

  • Full compliance with California Integrated Waste Management Board’s AB939 waste reduction requirements including: free recycling service for all residents, recycling of green waste, and annual household hazardous waste collection events.

  • Quarterly environmental newsletter to all residents and monthly environmental feature on community cable television

  • Use of asphalt containing recycled tires on all street improvement projects

  • Installation of 12,000 square feet of Rubber Sidewalk, made of 100% recycled tires

  • Recycled-content procurement policy

  • Water conservation policy

Rubberized Asphalt

The City of Hawthorne uses rubberized asphalt in all of its street improvement projects. Rubberized asphalt utilizes used tires as a binding material, thus eliminating these tires from the waste stream.

For the recently completed Rosecrans Avenue Improvement Project, the City was the recipient of a grant from CalRecycle, the California Department of Resources Recycling And Recovery, to help fund the use of Rubberized Asphalt. The City received $70,000 from CalRecycle and was able to utilize the equivalent of over 2,000 tires in the paving of Rosecrans Avenue. 

The City continues to use Rubberized Asphalt in its projects and looks forward to working further with CalRecycle towards this goal.

Green Scene News

The City works actively with utility companies and the SBCOG to educate the community. This includes hosting workshops, posting information on the City website, and running informative spots on the City’s cable television.

All City residents receive a quarterly newsletter, "One Person's Trash", detailing the City's recycling and resource conservation programs. Here is an archive of these newsletters:

Summer 2018

2017 press release

2017 SEED Event - Local Businesses Recognized

The South Bay Business Environmental Coalition (SBBEC) hosted its 10th annual SEED Awards event September 20 at the LAX Flight Path Learning Center and Museum. Comprised of businesses and municipalities throughout the South Bay and beyond, the SBBEC hosts the SEED Award program to recognize the extraordinary environmental efforts of local businesses, individuals and organizations.

This year AquaBio Environmental Technologies of Hawthorne won in the Innovation category. Specializing in green chemistry and technology, Aqua Bio is a research and development firm working to use the environment to clean itself. The company utilizes plants and specialized microbes to help filter pollutants in a variety of contexts including a recent successful project at Magic Johnson Lake in Los Angeles. All winners also received certificates from the office of State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi.

Also nominated from Hawthorne was Fun Ship Children’s Center on El Segundo Blvd. Fun Ship has recently remodeled its facility and replaced landscaping with fruits and vegetables that the children now harvest.

Past SEED Award winners have ranged from individuals to multi-national corporations, each of which have helped the quality of life in the South Bay and surrounding region. By recognizing the efforts being made locally, these awards help demonstrate to others how a few simple steps can make a significant impact. 

For more information, visit or contact Doug Krauss with Hawthorne Public Works at 310-349-2987.

Doug Krauss of Hawthorne Public Works and staff from SEED Award winning Aqua Bio Environmental Technologies