As the head of technology solution provider in the waste and recycling industry, RecycleGO’s CEO and co-founder, Stan Chen, is in the business of creating fast-track global distribution networks. So when the coronavirus outbreak hit the United States and led to a shortage of masks for healthcare workers, he saw a way to tap into the company’s international supply network to source KN95 masks from China and target the distribution of the masks by partnering with Mask Force NYC, a community relief project providing masks for healthcare providers and other essential service workers in the New York area. The campaign, organized by Resilience Education Training and Innovation (RETI) Center, reached out to New York-operating healthcare facilities to assess their PPE need and create an initial order of supplies.
In less than 14 days, RecycleGObuilt a fast-track global supply chain and distribution network for Mask Force NYC. Once the masks arrived to New York on April 4, RecycleGO worked with Mask Force NYC to organize mask distribution logistics using its dual-system logistics operations software. Volunteers and RecycleGO team members transported the essential PPE (personal protective equipment) to 15 New York hospitals and healthcare organizations, allowing healthcare workers to protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19. As local supplies continue to dwindle, RecycleGO and Mask Force NYC are organizing additional shipments, planning to provide at least 30,000 masks by mid month.
“The amazing work that Mask Force NYC has done to organize funding and volunteers, along with RecycleGO’s optimization of the supply chain and logistics for the masks, has enabled more of our city’s medical facilities and home-care providers to operate safely amid the pandemic,” Chen said.
Originally created for recycling and waste haulers, RecycleGO’s technology has always offered highly customizable features to its users, making the transition from the “reverse logistics” of waste to supply distribution logistics a seamless process. Once the materials reached the United States, RecycleGO used its logistics software for dispatchers, Mission Control, and its route optimization application, Chariot, to coordinate the pick up of masks. After the shipment of masks was disinfected, the Chariot app optimized the routes for volunteers’ distribution to medical providers, notifying dispatchers on Mission Control when volunteers were starting and ending their route. RecycleGO is offering its logistics operations software for free to all essential service workers and volunteers during the crisis.
The Mask Force NYC campaign has received overwhelming community support for its efforts, raising over $44,000 from over 500 people in only two weeks. Chen and organizers are planning a second shipment of supplies for mid April to address the East Coast’s ongoing need for PPE as COVID-19 hospitalizations remain at high levels. RecycleGO plans to map for donors exactly how their donations were spent using a blockchain reporting system. By recording transactions made during the transportation and distribution of the masks, Mask Force NYC will have verifiable proof that donations were not allocated to any unapproved parties.
“We want to be transparent with this project, to show that 100% of donations are going toward helping medical providers get the masks they need. RecycleGO’s blockchain platform will provide that accountability and peace of mind to the donors,” stated Chen.
Originally printed in Waste Advantage Magazine, April 2020 issue.