OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (PIX11) – An estimated 500 pounds of pasta was found dumped along a creek in the woods of a New Jersey town last month with no explanation of how it got there, according to a resident who posted photos of the food find on Facebook.
Old Bridge resident Nina Jochnowitz, who previously ran for council in the township, said she stumbled across mounds of spaghetti and elbow-shaped noodles in the Middlesex County woods.
“A good estimate is more than 500 pounds of pasta dumped adjacent to the streams intersecting with Hilliard and Mimi,” Jochnowitz wrote in the post on April 28.
Jochnowitz said the town’s Public Works Department arrived within hours of her post for “a rapid cleanup” of the river basin “and pasta dump.”
But as news spread of the mystery pasta dumping, so did “penne” of puns.
Jochnowitz said her friend dubbed it “Mission Impastable.” While on the r/NewJersey subreddit, a top commenter joked, “We should send the perpetrators to the state penne tentiary.”
However, Jochnowitz said the incident actually shines a light on a larger issue affecting the township. According to Jochnowitz, Old Bridge doesn’t have bulk garbage pickup.
“And while this is ‘only pasta,’ this is the only town in Middlesex County without bulk garbage pickup. We have hundreds of dumps of waste throughout the township” as a result.
A spokesperson for Old Bridge Township told PIX11 News on Thursday that the town didn’t receive any calls or reports from residents about the pasta until Jochnowitz posted the photos on Facebook.
“DPW visited the site and did, in fact, find what appeared to be 15 wheel barrel loads of illegally dumped pasta along a creek in a residential neighborhood,” the spokesperson said.
The police were called as well, and a report was filed.
“Once the report was generated, two public works employees arrived to clean the area. They were able to load all of the pasta in under an hour and properly dispose of it,” the spokesperson added.
It remains unclear how long the pasta had been there, but the spokesperson said they believe it was only for a short time.
“We would estimate several hundred pounds of uncooked pasta that was removed from the packaging and then dumped along the creek. It looks like it was only there for a short time but moisture did start to soften some of the pasta,” they said.