Resident Spotlight: Tahree Lane
“It is always a pleasure when I get to work directly with citizens on a project, but it is especially inspiring when working with a citizen like Tahree Lane. Tahree brought the idea of green waste recycling to the city and worked with our team every step of the way. She helped us organize green waste collection days, spread the word within the community, and worked hand-in-hand with our crews at our Clean Toledo events. I admire Tahree’s passion and appreciate her commitment to this project.” – Megan Robson, Deputy Director of Public Service
Tahree Lane is a self-diagnosed ‘re-cyclo-path.’ She’s had the condition for years and it is infectious.
“I don’t think there is a cure for it,” Lane said. “I am always looking for something to recycle.”
“My mom was from the depression era so during the war they all- England, France, Germany, and the United States- they all had the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra,’ Lane said.
The mantra stuck with her into adulthood.
Lane made a pledge to herself that she would not put anything in her garbage that can be recycled or composted even if it was inconvenient.
That included green waste, which she refuses to put in the trash.
An avid gardener, Lane had bags full of green waste like grass clippings, leaves, weeds, flower cuttings, and tree branches but she had nowhere nearby to recycle them.
She would haul her bags from her south Toledo home all the way to Waterville where she would then have to pay a recycling fee.
It wasn’t just the cost that irritated Lane, it was the time and energy she spent trying to find a place to recycle the green waste while residents in other countries had facilities that were free and accessible.
“It took me over an hour, you know, by the time I got my car loaded, drove out there, dumped everything out, paid, came back and then cleaned out my car,” Lane said. “It was inconvenient and it made my car kind of a mess but I did it for years.”
This year Lane decided to take matters into her own hands, especially since 2022 had the most recycling events ever scheduled in the City.
She sent letters to members of City Council and asked them to consider adding green waste to this year’s Saturday recycling events.
“That night I got an email back from City Councilwoman Katie Moline and she said it was a really good idea,” Lane said.
“Councilwoman Moline also sent an email to Megan Robson, the Deputy Director of Public Service, and asked her to work with me to try and get green waste recycling onto the program.”
Although Lane was instrumental in bringing green waste recycling to Toledo, she credits the program to Councilman Moline and Ms. Robson.
“Megan is a can-do person and Katie is a can-do person and sometimes you just get lucky,” Lane said.
Earth Day was the inaugural green waste recycling event in the City.
“I was the first one in line. I got there really early in the morning like 8:59,” Lane said. “I dumped all my stuff out and got to keep the bags and recycle them. The volunteers were really nice and they were happy to be there and help.”
Lane said that she is delighted with the way the City handled green waste recycling this year. She has a few more ideas for recycling events that she plans to suggest for next year.
“I think what I have learned with advocacy is you just have to keep at it and at it and keep trying.”