New Jersey has been the butt of jokes for years, with the state enjoying a ripe reputation thanks to the gas refineries on the northern stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike.

But, you may have noticed a stench hanging near the Garden State Parkway's Monmouth/Ocean County line recently.

People who live on the southwestern edge of Tinton Falls know the signature odor of the landfill that sits just across Shafto Road.

Monmouth County Reclamation Center landfill (Apple Maps)

Usually, the odor blooms when the weather gets warm and occasionally envelops a wider area, but you may have noticed lately that it's, let's say, "lingering".

It's gotten so bad that you only have to be in a car on the Parkway in the area of exit 100 to be overcome by the stench.

You don't even have to have your windows open. Bonus!

It was so bad on a recent shopping trip that I took to the area that I had to cut my retail therapy session short and get the heck out of there.

So, what's the deal with the suddenly overbearing odor?

Well, it turns out that the County went ahead and uncapped a large swath of the dump back in September and, well, kind of forgot to let the public know.

Basically, officials say that they know, they've heard the complaints, and they're working on it.

So when can residents and visitors expect the nauseating stink to subside?

According to a presentation that the County posted online earlier this week, "there is no switch to turn off the odor".

So, for those of us who come and go to and from Ocean County on a regular basis, it sounds like the best solution is to hold your breath when you hit exit 98 going north and exit 102 when you're going south, hope that you've passed it by the time you need to come back up for air, and be glad that you live in Ocean County!

 

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