A pink rucksack was discovered nearby.
Detectives described the death of the unidentified woman as “unexplained”.
Officers were called to a block of flats in Childs Hill, north London, by a shocked member of the public.
An onlooker said: “There was a body found in a recycling bin.
“There was a backpack next to the bin with personal items in.”
Police said: “The woman was confirmed to be deceased. A crime scene is in place. The death is being treated as unexpected and unexplained. Inquiries continue.”