Essay

Discover the Filthiest City in New Jersey

It’s a common misconception that New Jersey is the “armpit of America,” yet this couldn’t be further from the reality. The Garden State is home to a wide variety of topography, including miles of spotless beaches, mountainous areas, and verdant forests and open fields. Everyone can find something to do here, including city inhabitants, hikers, sun worshippers, and fisherman.

Despite its reputation as the most joke-worthy state among other states, New Jersey is a lovely and wonderful place (and no, I’m not biassed because I’m a proud native and citizen of Jersey). Nevertheless, the state has some of the dirtiest cities in the nation, despite its benefits. However, the study’s findings do not imply that those towns are inhospitable or unworthy of exploration. They actually deliver far more than merely what is indicated by the numbers.

Nevertheless, the 2023 Dirtiest Cities in America report names this as the dirtiest city in New Jersey.

What Is the Filthiest City in New Jersey?

Newark is the dirtiest city in New Jersey, according to LawnStarter. Pollution, housing conditions, infrastructure, and customer happiness are some of the issues that determine this.

The researchers analysed variables such as air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, bug infestations, amount of waste in neighbouring landfills, and the percentage of disgruntled people in order to appropriately and fairly rank the 154 U.S. cities in the study. Newark was the dirtiest city in the US in 2022, but it has improved, coming in second (after Houston, Texas).

Pollution in Newark

Metrics such as the city’s median air quality index, percentage of smokers, annual excess fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions per capita, and water quality violations were collected by the researchers. When added to the total score, some of the variables held more significance. For instance, the researchers paid more attention to the air quality index and less attention to the values of excess fuel use.

When it came to pollution, Newark was among the top 15 worst cities, coming in at number 14 out of 154. The Lower Passaic River, which has been contaminated for more than 150 years, is a significant source of pollution in the region.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

The Passaic River Watershed’s century-long industrialization has left the Lower Passaic with a hefty pollution burden. The sediments of the river contain layers of dioxin, mercury, PCBs, and numerous other hazardous pollutants that have been left behind by manufacturing. The combined effects of this pollution and pathogenic organisms introduced by combined sewer overflow incidents have degraded the water quality of the river. Since 1984, there have been advisories regarding fishing and crabbing. Additionally, poor land-use management has obstructed access to the waterfront, deteriorated the river’s shorelines, and exposed vulnerable populations—often immigrant populations—to flooding.

Fortunately, steps are being taken to make these circumstances better. “Collaboration of federal and state agencies, municipalities, and community-based organisations advancing cleanup, restoration, and stewardship of the Lower Passaic River and equitable, sustainable development along its banks” is the mission statement of the Lower Passaic Urban Waters Partnership.

Newark Living Conditions

Researchers looked at the population density, rates of overcrowding, homelessness, and the lack of basic amenities like water, sewage disposal, and kitchens in order to assess how valuable each city’s living circumstances were. They also took into account hygienic issues like mould, rodents and mice, and cockroaches. Infestations by pests were the factor that was given the highest weight.

The living conditions get worse as the ranking goes down. When 154 cities were measured, Newark came in at number five. Jersey City, another city in the Garden State, came in even lower in this category (number 2).

Infrastructure in Newark

The amount of rubbish in landfills was evaluated by researchers as they examined each city’s infrastructure, and this measurement was given the greatest weight for determining the overall infrastructure rating. Next, they examined state-level waste rules (in the instance of Newark, the grade was significantly influenced by New Jersey’s waste regulations overall). Lastly, they took into account the quantity of junkyards, alternative fuel stations, and collectors of waste and recycling. Compared to the other measures, Newark’s infrastructure ranking of 97 indicated that it was the least significant problem.

Newark Consumer Satisfaction

The proportion of inhabitants who thought the city was messy and untidy was the primary factor used by researchers to calculate each city’s consumer satisfaction ratings. They also looked at the citizens’ discontent with parks and green spaces, pollution, and trash collection—all of which have a significant negative influence on wildlife. With a consumer satisfaction rating of 3, Newark came in third poorest place among the cities in this category.

Newark’s Overall Rank

The survey found that Newark was the second dirtiest city in America in addition to being the dirtiest city in New Jersey. The aforementioned metrics have culminated in this outcome. It received a score of 55.25 overall. As a point of comparison, San Bernardino, California, ranked third on the list, scored 51.58, while Houston, Texas, ranked first on the list, scored 56.02.