Hundreds of pounds of pasta dumped in New Jersey woods

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Saturday, May 6, 2023
Who dumped hundreds of pounds of pasta in New Jersey?
Hundreds of pounds of pasta were dumped in the woods along a stream at Veterans Park in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

OLD BRIDGE, New Jersey -- Officials in New Jersey are noodling over a pasta mystery in Old Bridge.

More than 500 pounds of pasta was dumped in the woods last week, including ziti, spaghetti and other noodles.

A community advocate posted photos of the heaps of food along a creek in Veterans Park.

Nina Jochnowitz

The photos she posted started to circulate on several local Facebook groups.

"The township has no bulk garbage pickup," Nina Jochnowitz said. "And the funny dump this time was pasta, which you all picked up."

While several people on the street including Jochnowitz say they know who did it, they add that it's a person they care deeply about and it's a sensitive situation.

This instance of illegal dumping may seem like a bizarre one-off occurrence, but Jochnowitz said it points to the larger issue of bulk garbage. She said financial constraint sometimes prevents people from properly disposing of large items like couches.

Jochnowitz said adding bulk pick-up would add less than $90 a year to people's garbage bills, but she said the township voted down the proposal.

Some people have taken to secret and illegal dumping as their go-to answer. WABC-TV found a spot a few hundred feet from a waterway with televisions, grills, bedroom furniture and construction material.

Christopher Eskesen lives in Old Bridge and said he tries to do his part to keep the waterway clean when he takes his kayak out.

"I got four dumpsters and filled them with tires furniture," Eskesen said. "All this stuff that floats up constantly. It gets cleaned up. A week later it's back again."

Town officials said they estimated that several hundred pounds of uncooked pasta was removed from the packaging and dumped along the creek. They said it looked like it was there for a short time, but moisture from the area did start to soften some of the pasta.

The Department of Public Works visited the site and found what appeared to be 15 loads of illegally dumped pasta in the residential neighborhood.

Police were called to the scene to take a report and then two Public Works employees cleaned up and got rid of all the pasta in less than an hour.

The incident is under investigation by the police department.