She told police she was reaching into the bin that was behind a Paterson, New Jersey, apartment building when someone pushed her in.
The woman couldn't get out because police said it's almost impossible to open the container's sliding door because of how the bin is constructed, NBC News reported.
It was also padlocked, News 12 New Jersey reported.
Finally, someone heard her screams for help late Monday morning and called 911. When firefighters got to the scene, they opened the door using a spreader from the outside and pulled her out, News 12 New Jersey reported.
The woman complained of leg numbness and was taken to a hospital for treatment of frostbite, police said.