Samantha is a student at Maplewood High School on a mission to remove thousands of waste tires that were creating an environmental hazard in the community. Pennsylvania has millions of waste tires that are the perfect breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes as well as creating a very dangerous situation if those tires were to ever catch on fire. She wrote grants and acquired funding in excess of $7,000 to help fund this massive waste tire cleanup project. On October 6, 2006, Sam led 200 high school students to a small woodlot in Townville, PA to load over 5,600 waste tires onto tractor trailer in less than three hours. Those tires were then hauled to Enviva Materials in Youngstown so they could be recycled.
This waste tire project has spawned several other tire recycling efforts throughout the county. Maplewood High School is already planning another tire reclamation project for the fall of 2007 in collaboration with two other area high schools. Sam Taylor worked hard to overcome many obstacles to prove to the community that waste tires can be dealt with in an effective and environmentally conscientious way.