Shameful Harvest


Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
Pines; Bamber area
This was a letter I sent to the Pinelands Commission and others. If this is happening in your town too, try to stop it.



I have brought this problem up three times before. Starting around six years ago I sent letters and emails to everyone I can think of to stop it. I received many promises; from Freeholders, Assemblymen, and even from the parties responsible for doing this. What I am talking about is Ocean County Road Department's habit of leveling the sides of County Pineland roads using ground up mulch and other material from other rural areas of Ocean County. The main problem is that this material is loaded with garbage.

Six weeks ago they did it again, in the Pinelands Preservation District along Lacey Road by Bamber Lake. After the rains, the junk that is mixed up with this material revealed itself. I picked up the below harvest basket of items out of this fill in just 30 minutes.


Your eyes do not deceive you. In just this one random sample, besides the wire and metal on the left, there is an inner tube, plastic action figure toys, plastic bottles, caps, and pipe fittings, a hunk of rebar, bits of wire, junk from home gardens, tennis and wiffle balls, a hair brush, plastic eating utensils, decorative car trim, house insulation, and even a beaded slipper.

This is outrageous to do this, especially in the Pine Barrens, where we are trying to preserve the clean white sands and beautiful roadsides. The below photo shows what it looks like (background). You can see the familiar white sand roadside and typical huckleberry and blueberry plants are gone. In its place grows foreign home garden and lawn plants


What to do? First, the Lacey Township Police Department should issue Ocean County a ticket for littering if they see them putting this material down again. Secondly, legislation should be introduced (fostered by The Pinelands Commision) that prohibits doing this in the Pinelands. And thirdly, the sand plants that reside in the pinelands should be taxed in sand to be used to lay on the roadsides that need it. They certainly should not allow to take and take and not give back something to the Pinelands they are creating holes in.

Many years ago, when I first surfaced this problem, Ocean County told me they were going to fire the people responsible. That is a stupid, wrongheaded solution. No workers should be reprimanded or fired. They are only doing what they are told to do (think Abu Ghraib). This practice must be outlawed by legislation. It has been proven again and again (to me) that there is no other way.

Feel free to foward as required to help me stop this disgusting practice.

Bob Moyer

PS: Apparantly, Lacey Township is doing a similar thing (though not nearly as bad) on a smaller scale. On the road leading to the dam at Bamber Lake, they laid down a surface of rubble that consists of broken bits of concrete, brick, and macadam. No longer do we have the familiar sandy roadside to walk down to the lake on. Farewell to nice barefoot summertime walks down to the lake.


Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
I remember you mentioning this before. You need to find the right person to get this info to, and maybe this will stop.



Apr 2, 2005
Little Egg Harbor
In my opinion, the garbage mixed in with the mulch is a probelm, but an asthetic one and not as big as issue as the mulch itself. The mulch changes the pH, organic content, and nutrient level of the native soil, allowing non-native roadside weed to displace the native pine barrens species that have found a niche in these roadsides. Many times the mulch doesn't just create ideal conditions for these plants, but brings them into the area, since it contains every ground up plant material imaginable from commercial and residential sites.


Jan 25, 2008
Browns Mills
Ocean Co. should have their own gravel/sand pit just for the road shoulders. This fill that is being used looks like it's being taken from an old landfill. It is absolutley disgusting. You probably have to start a petition including a lot of the senior citizen areas. One person complaining might be considered a nuisance but many complaints equals votes at election time and this might create some action.


Sep 7, 2005
You pen your words with passion. The people you pen them to are not compassionate. It's a sadness. I feel for you.



May 4, 2004
Forked River/Belcoville
Isnt that lovely, and to see the wire and stuff makes me shudder. What if a child or someone walks barefoot in the area and steps on that wire or rusty metal, no good. Or even if someone had to pull a vehicle over they could puncture a tire causing them to have to pay out of their own pocket when not at fault


Jan 25, 2008
Browns Mills
I was looking at the Pineland Commission website and found The Pinelands Municipal Council which reviews areas of concern in the Pinelands. It is a collection of the mayors or designees of the 53 municipalities in the Pinelands.Their next meeting is July 30 @7:30 at The Tabernacle Twp. Municipal building and open to the public.