Residents of a New Jersey town are stumped after finding around 500 pounds of pasta inexplicably dumped next to a local creek.
Last month, Nina Jochnowitz, a former candidate for an Old Bridge city council seat, posted photos on her Facebook page showing piles of spaghetti and macaroni ludicrously dumped alongside an Iresick Creek bank.
“A good estimate is that more than 500 pounds of pasta is thrown away,” Jochnowitz wrote on his Facebook page.
The images quickly triggered a slew of reactions online.
Some were humorous. “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs,” one user replied.
Someone else wrote: “I can’t figure out what the problem is; just pour in a couple buckets of sauce and you’re done.”
But others criticized the spill as wasteful.
One person wrote: “Shame on you. The spaghetti could have been delivered to a food pantry or for the homeless.”
Another user said: “So many can’t buy food, what a waste. No matter the threat to the environment.”
For his part, Jochnowitz said National Public Radio that the bizarre episode highlighted how Old Bridge lacks “bulk garbage collection.”
“It’s been a point of contention for as long as I’ve lived in this city — 23 years,” Jochnowitz, an environmental activist, told NPR.
The pasta, which appeared soft and cooked, was actually not cooked, according to Old Bridge business manager Himanshu Shah. It just seemed cooked due to the recent rains in the area.
“We would estimate several hundred pounds of raw pasta that was taken out of the packaging and then dumped along the creek,” Shah said CNN in a statement. “It looks like it was only there for a short time, but the moisture started to soften some of the paste.”
The paste was eventually cleaned up by public works employees who ended up filling “what appeared to be 15 [wheelbarrow] lots” of pasta, Shah said.
Some residents believe they may have solved the mystery after discovering that the stack of noodles came from a nearby house that is currently for sale. After his mother’s death, a military veteran was moving out of his mother’s house when he discovered a pile of old pasta in the house.
“I really feel like he was just trying to empty out his parents’ house and they were probably stocked up on” previous lockdowns associated with Covid-19, neighbor Keith Rost said NBC New York.
in a statement Speaking to CNN, Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry weighed in on the so-called pasta-gate scandal, saying: “It was a misjudgment, because this material could have been properly removed.”