A huge 226 kilogram mass of pasta was dumped on the side of a brook in the New Jersey town of Old Bridge, leaving residents stumped and using their noodle about where it came from, local media outlets reported.
The pasta piles – made up of spaghetti, alphabet noodles and macaroni – was first brought to light by Nina Jochnowitz, who posted photos on her Facebook page.
“THEY GOT THE MESSAGE!!! The township came and cleaned up then entire river basin. The Mayor and his possy continue to ignore the Sixth Ward. For us in the 6th ward it comes and no surprise when we see the dumping of construction and other garbage spewed in all of the neighborhoods," Jochnowitz wrote on her page.
"This week, there was a new type of dumping, of excessive food, PASTA. A good Estimate is more than 500 pounds of pasta dumped adjacent to the streams intersecting with Hilliard and Mimi. While it has been reported to our township administrator (myself) and I reckon that someone forwarded my post on this to the no-can-do Mayor knows…and his CaL girls, they will ignore this food garbage…”
Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry told CNN that “it was a lapse in judgment because this material could have been disposed of properly.”
However, using the spaghetti scandal as an opportunity to discuss issues facing the community, Jochnowitz told National Public Radio (NPR) that the pasta highlighted how Old Bridge lacks “bulk garbage pickup.”
“It has been a point of contention for the entire time I’ve lived in this town – 23 years,” Jochnowitz said to NPR.
Indeed, this was confirmed by looking at the local municipality's website, which says that waste disposal services for household solid waste aren't provided and are instead outsourced to private firms.
The noodles were eventually cleared away, after being shifted into 15 different wheelbarrows and transported, Old Bridge’s business administrator Himanshu Shah told CNN.
Pasta la vista, the mystery explained
Local residents believe they know the spaghetti’s source. One such resident, who was clearing out their deceased mother’s home, seemingly emptied the macaroni mass out of the home, which is now up for sale.
“I really feel like he was just trying to clear out his parents’ house and they were probably stocked up from” the prior lockdowns associated with COVID-19, neighbor Keith Rost told NBC.
"I just moved in right next door, so that would have been a big mess to start cleaning all the flies in the house, maggots," Rost added.
However, NBC noted that the police are still investigating who was behind this crime.