The latest winners in the West Virginia University Environmental Conservation Awareness Now Ecolympics challenge competition have been announced. Stalnaker Hall (residence division) and the Student Recreation Center (campus building division) are the 2011 champions for the month-long competition. Held annually in October, the Ecolympics is a challenge to buildings to recycle the most material and reduce energy consumption by the highest percentages in one month.

Stalnaker Hall recycled more than 3,000 pounds of material and reduced its energy consumption by 9% during the month of October. The Student Recreation Center recycled 1,107 pounds and reduced its electricity use by 17 percent. Eleven buildings in the overall competition reduced energy consumption between 10 and 20 percent.

“We are happy to see some friendly competition developing between residence halls and buildings,” said Traci Liebig, conservation specialist within WVU Facilities Management. “Ultimately, though, we hope that the month of extra attention surrounding recycling and energy conservation energizes students, faculty, and staff to continue to use less and recycle more all year long. The competition is meant to be an impetus to think about how our choices affect our environment, no matter if we are at home or at work or school.”

Residence halls in the student division can earn extra points in the competition through a variety of other activities, which this year included a recyclable sculpture-building contest at WVUp All Night and volunteering for the Mountaineers Recycle program at a home football game.

“We are so excited to have been named the winners of the Ecolympics Challenge this year,” said Samantha Bonacci, residence hall specialist for Dadisman and Stalnaker Halls. “Our students, particularly the members of our Community Service Club and the Resident Assistant staff, worked very hard throughout the month of October to keep the message of conservation at the front of everyone’s mind. I am personally thrilled that all of their efforts paid off so well.”

Stalnaker students will get to vote on $3,500 worth of prizes for the entire hall’s use, while the recreation center will receive a two-hour work release lunch at a local restaurant for all of its full-time employees. Dave Taylor, director of the center, is proud of staff efforts in the competition.

“The staff of the Student Recreation Center, Adventure West Virginia and the Mountaineer Kids Club were extremely pleased to learn of their selection as the 2011 campus building winner of the annual Ecolympics Challenge. This recognition of staff’s daily efforts with recycling and energy conservation is most appreciated.”

WVU’s commitment to sustainability hosts programs such as Ecolympics to ensure the University is being a good steward of the community and environment. To learn about green purchasing policies, alternative transportation, performance contracting, and other sustainable practices, visit



CONTACT: Traci Liebig, conservation specialist

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