Lt. Jeff Bretzing says an alert resident noticed the trash can in some shrubbery Thursday morning on a road that runs parallel to Interstate 580 and not too far from the Stonebridge Mall.
When officers arrived, they discovered a woman's body inside a 45-gallon plastic container near an upscale development called The Preserve.
Bretzing says police are investigating the incident as a homicide as it is unknown how long the trash can had been in the area.
Police have not yet determined the woman's identity, age or ethnicity.
The Alameda County coroner is scheduled to perform autopsy on Friday.