Inside an unused cattle barn at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center, workers in full protective gear are recycling up to 80,000 masks a day for first responders and health care workers, according to a report from NBCDFW5.
Fort Worth will serve as a regional center for the operation, run by the nonprofit research group Battelle, which won a $400 million federal contract to set up 60 recycling operations across the country; there are about 40 currently open. Right now it’s limited to the high-quality masks known as N-95 and not other protective gear.
In the process, boxes of used masks arrive and are then decontaminated inside large shipping containers using “vapor hydrogen peroxide.” Each mask can be decontaminated up to 20 times. The recycled masks are then shipped back to where they originated.