West Virginia University faculty, staff and students will compete to see who can recycle and conserve the most energy during the annual WVU Energy Conservation Awareness Now (WE CAN) Ecolympics held now through Oct. 30.

The WE CAN Ecolympics has three competitions between residence halls, campus buildings, and a second competition among residence halls to see which facility continues with the recycling and energy conservation efforts after the competition is over.

During last year’s Ecolympics, occupants in 52 WVU buildings recycled and 30 tons of materials were collected, said WVU Recycling Coordinator Barbara Angeletti.

“When each individual responds to energy conservation and recycling in a campus of our size, the collective outcome is significant,” said Clement Solomon, director of the WVU Office of Sustainability. “In the greater context of community, we would like this lifestyle to continue 365 days a year both at work and home.”

Occupants of residence halls and facilities compete each week during Ecolympics to see which building accumulates the most aluminum cans, #1 plastic bottles and paper products in their facility’s indoor recycling bins. Facilities Management staff collect and help keep track of each building’s recyclables. Winners are determined each week by dividing the total weight of recyclables by the number of building occupants.

The top three teams with the most recyclables are awarded three points for first place, two points for second place, and one point for the third place. A residence hall and facilities winner are declared after the competition.

Energy use from Oct. 5-30 will be compared to historical data for each residence hall and facility. The team with the highest percentage of reduction of energy use over the four-week period will be awarded 10 points for first place, nine points for second place, eight points for third place and so on.

Katherine Patton, a senior visual journalism major, participated in last year’s WE CAN Ecolympics. She is a second-year resident assistant at Arnold Hall, which won the residence hall competition.

“We spread the word about Ecolympics through email, chalkboard notes, flyers, word of mouth and any way we could. I was really excited because I put a lot of time and effort into it. It’s always nice to see something you and residents do come out as a success,” Patton said. “We won a $3,500 prize to spend on Arnold Hall, and we purchased new TVs for the lobby and recreation room and a new ping pong table.”

Participants also have a chance to win prizes and earn points at an Ecolympics Midnight Games event at WVUp All Night on Oct. 9 at 11 p.m., an online trivia quiz and scavenger hunt on Oct. 24, and by signing WVU’s Sustainability Pledge at https://finance.wvu.edu/sustainability/login.cfm.

On Oct. 17, football fans at the WVU vs. Marshall game will compete against eight other schools to see who can recycle the most during the Game Day Recycling Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information about WE CAN Ecolympics events and a list of items that can be recycled, go to http://wecan.wvu.edu.


CONTACT: Barbara Angeletti, Facilities Management
304-293-2330, Barbara.Angeletti@mail.wvu.edu