A name left among a pile of rubbish dumped at the South Beach parking area could lead to the eventual prosecution of those responsible.

The pile of rubbish, most of it recyclable, was dumped some time in the last day or two.

Yesterday a Whanganui District Council contractor cleaned up the mess.

But a council spokeswoman said council staff inspected the area and found a name among the material dumped at the popular parking area next to the city's airport.

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"We'll be following up on that," the spokeswoman said.

She said the council would ask any members of the public coming across illegally dumped waste not to remove any identifying names as this could limit the chance of a prosecution "if we decide to take that action".

She said it was disappointing too that all the material left at the beach could have been recycled. "Instead of being dumped where it was, they could have simply taken it to the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre in Maria Place extension."

Anyone coming across illegally dumped rubbish should contact the council on 349 0001.

"If they see the dumping occurring, useful details to note include the date and time it happened, a vehicle registration, a description of the person or the name of the person if it is known," the spokeswoman said.