Christian Lehman, 31, was left with multiple injuries to his legs and feet and 200 metal plates and screws to hold his ribs and shoulder blades in place.
He underwent 17 emergency surgeries and received 80 pints of blood in transfusions after climbing into the bin outside the main bus station in the British army garrison town of Paderborn.
Mr Lehman had been drinking white grain spirit, vodka and beer with friends when he went to the bin to try to retrieve boxes to make his bed for the night.
"I kind of toppled in, it was comfortable and I just fell asleep," he recalled.
But before dawn the binmen came and he was thrown into two-ton jaws of the machine.
"I cried out in pain but no-one could hear me," he said. "Pretty soon I was helpless with pain, doubled over. I could hear the bones cracking like twigs... pop, pop, pop, one after another.
"I just wanted God to end it quick."
It was only when the binmen paused the machinery to throw in more garbage that they noticed blood dripping from the jaws of the crusher and took a look inside.
Lehman was squeezed into a shape no bigger than a cardboard box.
It took firemen and paramedics 45 minutes to free him from the machine so he could be taken by helicopter to a hospital.