Environmental Stewardship

The City of Tustin is committed to the long-term environmental and economic health of the community. The City strives to plan and implement a wide range of initiatives to ensure a high quality of life in Tustin. Below is a list of projects and initiatives that demonstrate the City’s continued commitment to innovation aimed at reducing environmental impacts and maintaining fiscal responsibility. We hope you find this information useful and will learn more about how we continue investing in the community.  

Energy Conservation 

  • Over the last 14 years, the City has completed many energy efficiency projects that not only save on utility bills, but also reduce maintenance costs.  With the cost of electricity increasing every year, identifying ways to cut consumption has become embedded in all of our planning efforts.  
  • The City converted 3,491 high pressure sodium vapor streetlights to LED, saving 1,262,100 kWh annually and $7,572,600 in net energy and maintenance savings over twenty years. 
  • Lighting has been converted to LED fixtures at City facilities and parks saving 1,101,409 kWh annually.  Converted parks include Frontier (2012), Pine Tree (2012), Peppertree (2012), McFadden Parkette (2014), Camino Park (2015), Citrus Ranch (2016), Laurel Glen (2017), Cedar Grove (2021), Heritage (2022), Tustin Sports Park (2022), Columbus Tustin (2022), Magnolia  (2022), Pioneer (2022), and Centennial (2022).     
  • The City continues investing in operating efficiencies for City facilities including HVAC/mechanical system improvements. HVAC improvements have resulted in saving 292,364 kWh annually. 
  • Solar panels have been installed at Columbus Tustin Gymnasium, Tustin Metrolink Station and the Tustin Corporate Yard, generating 625,000 kWh of energy annually.  Solar is also used to power irrigation controls throughout the community. 
  • The sports park lighting at Columbus Tustin Park and the Tustin Sports Park was converted to LED in 2020. 
  • Traffic signals and hanging street name signs at major intersection have been converted to LED. 

Water Conservation & Storm Water Pollution Prevention 

  • Partnering with the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), the City is committed to water conservation. Residents and businesses are encouraged to take advantage of water saving rebate programs available through the MWDOC.  Past rebates have been available for turf replacement, replacement of inefficient irrigation heads, weather-based irrigation controllers, rain barrels, low-flow toilets, and efficient clothes washers.   
  • Between 2013 and 2022, the City reduced annual water use by over 650 million-gallons each year. In today’s cost, this equals and annual savings of $2.3M each year. That’s a total of 6.5 billion gallons saved with a cost savings of $23M in ten years. 
  • The City has adopted a permanent water conservation ordinance supporting Make Conservation a California Way of Life. Learn more about the City of Tustin's conservation and drought response.
  • The City is increasing use of drought tolerant plants and drip irrigation to prevent runoff in landscaped areas.  The medians on First Street, Irvine Boulevard, and Newport Avenue were recently converted from grass and need less maintenance and are saving water. 
  • Irrigation for landscaping in City parks and along roadways is controlled through smart timers.  These timers have real-time weather data that determines watering needs based on factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind.   
  • The City is a part of cooperative OC storm water program, H2OC to protect our water resources and prevent runoff pollution. 
  • The City has installed 2,177 water quality devices to remove trash and contaminants from stormwater.  

Waste Reduction & Recycling 

  • In 2023, the City and CR&R embarked on a customer outreach campaign to bring all businesses and multifamily dwellings into compliance with SB 1383, which requires all properties to arrange for collection of organic materials.  Various outreach, education, and training with kitchen and janitorial staff will be provided for businesses and multifamily properties to ensure they are in compliance with State law. 
  • Using annual grant funding from the Beverage Container and Litter Reduction Act, the City is systematically replacing drinking fountains at City facilities and parks with water bottle filling stations to reduce use of single use plastic water bottles and the litter they can create. 
  • The City partners with CR&R to host two Compost Giveaways and two Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events each year.   
  • The Tustin City Council adopted a resolution establishing a purchasing policy for recycled products in 1990.  With an emphasis on reducing waste, the City continues to shift toward electronic communications and systems in an effort to streamline processes and reduce the use of paper.   
  • All construction projects occurring in Tustin are required to meet the requirements of the California Green Building Code Standards, including recycling or reuse of at least 65% of construction debris.    

Air Quality Improvement 

  • The City’s street sweeping operations are completed with equipment that utilizes Compressed Natural Gas. 
  • Through the City’s ongoing vehicle replacement program, eligible City vehicles are being converted to alternative-fuels such as CNG, hybrid, or electric.   
  • Tustin is proud to be designated as a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1997.  
  • The City maintains an Urban Forest of over 16,000 inventoried trees. Every day, our urban forest is improving air quality. 
  • Tustin has a bicycle lane network of 56 miles. OC Bikeways Map 
  • Partnering with OCTA and Metrolink, the City maintains the Tustin Metrolink Station and park-and-ride lot offering the community ride share and alternative transit options.     
  • The City has completed multiple signal synchronization projects to improve traffic conditions and vehicular traffic flow, which in turn reduces vehicle emissions for cleaner air. 

Construction, & Capital Improvement

  • The City uses rubberized asphalt made from recycled tires on major streets. A two-inch thick RAC uses roughly 2,000 tires per lane-mile. 
  • New facilities, such as the Tustin Library, Fire Station No. 37, and the Tustin Corporate Yard are constructed to LEED standards by incorporating sustainable site development, water saving devices, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and material selection. 
  • Veterans Sports Park at Tustin Legacy was designed to include all LED lighting, water efficient irrigation controls, on-site stormwater treatment, and low water plants.