The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) was called by the RSPCA at 11:00am after its officers were unable to free the cat from the bin at Keilor Park.
The kitten, a stray, had to be sedated and covered in olive oil before firefighters carefully pulled it from the pipe at the bottom of the dumpster.
The tiny ginger cat's head was poking out of the hole, which was smaller than the palm of its rescuer.
The MFB said it was tired and dehydrated, and was taken to a vet for a check-up.
The rescue team decided to name the kitten Brian, after the firefighter "who kept the kitten calm during the rescue", the MFB said.