🍝 Photos of 'great pasta dump' in NJ woods quickly go viral on social media

🍝 15 wheelbarrows of uncooked pasta were cleaned up along an Old Bridge stream

🍝 Just who dumped the pasta remained a mystery — and spawned lots of jokes

A mysterious, massive pasta dump in some New Jersey woods has made global headlines.

Several hundred pounds of a few varieties of pasta were discovered along a stream in the Middlesex County town of Old Bridge.

The mess sparked public concern for the food waste, as well as countless pasta puns by those ‘digesting’ the alarming photos.

Nina Jochnowitz, a resident and previous Township Council candidate, appeared to be the person who first shared photos of the pasta dump to Old Bridge Facebook groups.

By April 28, she said public works crew members had done a “rapid cleanup” of what she estimated “more than 500 pounds of pasta dumped.”

NJ pasta dump goes viral (Nina Jochnowitz for Old Bridge via Facebook)
NJ pasta dump goes viral (Nina Jochnowitz for Old Bridge via Facebook)

Who cleaned up the pasta mess in Old Bridge?

The cleanup was 15 wheelbarrow loads of illegally dumped pasta, according to Old Bridge Business Administrator, Himanshu Shah, who said the town only learned of the mess from Facebook posts.

Two township public works employees were able to load all of the pasta in under an hour and properly dispose of it, Shah continued.

Was the pasta cooked before being dumped in NJ?

One popular question on the internet was whether the pasta had been cooked first.

Shah said it appeared to be “uncooked pasta that was removed from the packaging and then dumped along the creek,” adding “It looks like it was only there for a short time but moisture did start to soften some of the pasta.”

So, recent rains and residual dampness gave it an "al dente" look.

NJ pasta dump goes viral (Nina Jochnowitz for Old Bridge via Facebook)
NJ pasta dump goes viral (Nina Jochnowitz for Old Bridge via Facebook)

Some of the ‘punniest’ references on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter

🍝 “We should send the perpetrators to the state penne tentiary” (Dpawaters via Reddit)

🍝 “Lead suspect is a guy named Al Dente. Don’t forget his partner Lin Guini.” (slapandtickleit, Dsxm41780 via Reddit)

🍝 “Mission impasteable” (Jochnowitz, crediting a friend on Facebook)

There were also several comments on Reddit that this was the most “New Jersey crime ever.”

On Twitter, Weird NJ weighed in, saying “We love that three people notified us about the Old Bridge, NJ Pasta Dump of 2023. Thinking fondly of the Clinton Road Bagel Dump a few decades ago.”

At least one tweeted response included an appropriate GIF from “The Sopranos.”

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Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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