Council At Large Information

Deborah Ortega,
Council At Large

What makes Denver a vibrant city is that we have such unique and active neighborhoods; shaped with input and activism from residents and businesses. This open ‘give and take’ exists because of the great work of my predecessor, Councilman Sal Carpio who authored the Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) - Notification Ordinance. This has given neighborhoods a voice and an opportunity to be proactive in shaping the future of their communities.

 We have thriving commercial areas, great parks and bike trails, and within many neighborhoods a thriving downtown with active business communities. This coupled with the long list of non-profit organizations and foundations that work to meet the needs of struggling families makes Denver truly unique.

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I introduced an ordinance requiring grocery and convenience stores that are larger than 1500 square feet and who generate more than 2% of their sales from food, to collect a five cents fee from customers for every plastic or paper bag provided at the cash register.  Consumers can avoid paying the fee by providing their own bags.  The stores will retain 2 of the 5 cents collected to cover their costs.  The remaining 3 cents will be remitted to the city to educate retailers and the public about the ordinance and to provide reusable bags.

The goal of the ordinance is to reduce the consumption of paper and plastic bags.  This saves taxpayers money and is good for our environment. Denver residents consume an estimated 130 million disposable bags a year from grocery and convenience stores.  The plastic bags cannot be recycled at our local recycling plants and cause serious problems to the equipment.  The bags end up in our waste stream, in our rivers and lakes, in trees, storm basins, pipes and inlets, and they litter our parks.  I believe that this ordinance will help mitigate these issues and make our city more healthy and sustainable for future generations.

The ordinance has been postponed.  Reducing plastic bags in our waste stream is part of the Solid Waste Mater Plan implementation discussions that are currently underway.

Contact Councilwoman Ortega

Deborah Ortega
Council At Large
Phone: (720) 337-7713

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