Title:
Smoking Material Receptacle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A smoking material receptacle reduces or eliminates smoldering of discarded smoking materials and prevents smoke and odor from escaping from the receptacle. The smoking material is inserted in an angled chute near the top of the receptacle. The chute has an upper opening and a lower opening. In one embodiment, the lower opening of the chute lies substantially within a vertical plane. The arrangement of the chute within the receptacle substantially reduces or eliminates the escape of smoke and odor from the receptacle.



Inventors:
Starr, Robert J. (Tyrone, PA, US)
Evans Jr., Douglas R. (Everett, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/067876
Publication Date:
08/31/2006
Filing Date:
02/28/2005
Assignee:
New Pig Corporation (Tipton, PA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24F19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alan G. Towner (Pietragallo, Bosick & Gordon One Oxford Centre, 38th Floor 301 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219, US)
Claims:
1. A receptacle for disposal of combustible debris comprising: a container having a wall defining an interior of the container; an opening through the wall of the container structured and arranged for insertion of the combustible debris; and a chute extending from the wall into the interior of the container, the chute comprising an upper opening communicating with the wall opening and a lower opening communicating with the interior of the container.

2. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute is oriented at an angle measured from a horizontal plane.

3. The receptacle of claim 2, wherein the chute angle is from about 5 to about 85 degrees.

4. The receptacle of claim 2, wherein the chute angle is from about 30 to about 60 degrees.

5. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the lower opening of the chute is oriented in a plane at an angle less than about 30 degrees from a vertical plane.

6. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the lower opening of the chute is oriented in a substantially vertical plane.

7. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute extends radially inward from an inner surface of the wall into the interior of the container a distance of at least about 1 cm.

8. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute extends radially inward from an inner surface of the wall to a radial centerline of the receptacle.

9. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute extends radially inward from an inner surface of the wall past a radial centerline of the receptacle.

10. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute has an inner diameter substantially the same as a diameter of the opening through the wall of the container.

11. The receptacle of claim 10, wherein the inner diameter of the chute and the diameter of the wall opening are within about 50 percent of each other.

12. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute has an inner diameter of less than about 5 cm.

13. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute has an inner diameter of from about 2 cm to about 4 cm.

14. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the upper opening of the chute is located at a height above the lower opening of the chute of from about 1 cm to about 20 cm.

15. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute is substantially straight.

16. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute is curved.

17. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the chute has a substantially circular cross-section.

18. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the container comprises a body and a lid removably mounted on the body.

19. The receptacle of claim 18, wherein the chute is attached to the lid.

20. The receptacle of claim 19, wherein the chute is integrally formed with the lid.

21. The receptacle of claim 19, wherein the lid comprises a generally cylindrical portion and the wall opening is through the generally cylindrical portion of the lid.

22. The receptacle of claim 18, wherein the lid comprises an annular ring which rests on an upper rim of the body.

23. The receptacle of claim 18, wherein the lid comprises a generally conical lower portion.

24. The receptacle of claim 23, wherein the chute extends through the generally conical lower portion of the lid.

25. The receptacle of claim 18, further comprising a waste can inside the body.

26. The receptacle of claim 25, wherein the lower opening of the chute is vertically above the waste can.

27. The receptacle of claim 26, wherein a portion of the chute extends into the waste can.

28. The receptacle of claim 27, wherein the container includes a head space above the lower opening of the chute.

29. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the receptacle is structured and arranged for mounting on a side of a stationary pole or surface.

30. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the receptacle is structured and arranged for mounting on top of a movable pole.

31. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the receptacle is structured an arranged for mounting on a trash can lid.

32. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the receptacle comprises a base portion and a neck extending upwardly therefrom, and the wall opening is through the neck.

33. A receptacle for disposal of combustible debris comprising: a body; a lid removably mounted on the body and comprising an opening structured and arranged for insertion of the combustible debris; and a chute attached to the lid having an upper opening communicating with the lid opening and a lower opening communicating with an interior of the receptacle.

34. The receptacle of claim 33, wherein the chute is oriented at an angle measured from a horizontal plane.

35. The receptacle of claim 33, wherein the lower opening of the chute is oriented in a plane at an angle less than about 30 degrees from a vertical plane.

36. The receptacle of claim 33, wherein the chute extends radially inward from the lid opening.

37. The receptacle of claim 33, wherein the chute has an inner diameter substantially the same as a diameter of the lid opening.

38. The receptacle of claim 33, wherein the chute is integrally formed with the lid.

39. A trash can lid comprising: a trash opening; and a combustible debris receptacle supported by the lid comprising: a container having a wall defining an interior of the container; an opening through the wall of the container structured and arranged for insertion of the combustible debris; and a chute extending from the wall into the interior of the container.

40. The trash can lid of claim 39, wherein the chute comprises an upper opening communicating with the wall opening and a lower opening communicating with the interior of the container.

41. The trash can lid of claim 40, wherein the chute is oriented at an angle measured from a horizontal plane.

42. The trash can lid of claim 40, wherein the lower opening of the chute is oriented in a plane at an angle less than about 30 degrees from a vertical plane.

43. The trash can lid of claim 39, wherein the combustible debris receptacle comprises a body and a lid removably mounted on the body.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the disposal of combustible debris, and more particularly relates to a smoking material receptacle for the disposal of cigarettes, cigars and the like, which contains smoke and odor, and prevents smoldering of the debris.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Many public and private buildings are “smoke free”, and smoking materials must be extinguished prior to entering the buildings. To accommodate smokers, many buildings have designated “smoking areas”, typically located outside the building, where smoking of cigarettes and cigars is freely permitted. Most buildings have ashtrays or other containers at the building entrances and designated smoking areas in which smokers can dispose of their used smoking materials.

A commonly used ash trash design comprises a trash can having a top with a shallow sand-filled depression. Cigarette butts are pushed into the sand to extinguish them. Such ash trash containers can be unsightly as they are filled with cigarette butts and other trash.

Another conventional design for a smoking waste receptacle consists of a relatively large base portion having a narrow tube extending upward from the base. At least one opening is provided near the top of the narrow tube for inserting the smoking material, which then falls through the tube into the base. One such design is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,454,122. Although these types of narrow neck receptacles have gained widespread use, discarded smoking materials can smolder inside the receptacles for a period of time, and smoke and odor from such smoldering materials may escape from the receptacles.

The present invention has been developed in view of the foregoing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a smoking material receptacle which reduces or eliminates smoldering of discarded smoking materials, and prevents smoke and odor from escaping from the receptacle. The smoking material is inserted in an angled chute near the top of the receptacle having an upper opening and a lower opening. In one embodiment, the lower opening of the chute lies substantially within a vertical plane. The arrangement of the chute substantially reduces or eliminates the escape of smoke and odor from the receptacle.

An aspect of the present invention is to provide a receptacle for disposal of combustible debris comprising a container having a wall defining an interior of the container, an opening through the wall of the container structured and arranged for insertion of the combustible debris, and a chute extending from the wall into the interior of the container, the chute comprising an upper opening communicating with the wall opening and a lower opening communicating with the interior of the container.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a receptacle for disposal of combustible debris comprising a body, a lid removably mounted on the body, and a chute attached to the lid having an upper opening and a lower opening communicating with an interior of the receptacle.

A further aspect of the invention is to provide a trash can lid comprising a trash opening and a combustible debris receptacle. The combustible debris receptacle comprises a container having a wall defining an interior of the container, an opening through the wall of the container structured and arranged for insertion of the combustible debris, and a chute extending from the wall into the interior of the container, the chute comprising an upper opening communicating with the wall opening and a lower opening communicating with the interior of the container.

These and other aspects of the present invention will be more apparent from the following description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a elevational view of a pole-mounted smoking material receptacle in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional side view of the smoking material receptacle of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a sectional side view of the lid of the smoking material receptacle of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the lid of the smoking material receptacle shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the body of the smoking material receptacle shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of a base-mounted smoking material receptacle in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a sectional side view of the smoking material receptacle of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of a combined trash receptacle and smoking material receptacle in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a sectional side view of the trash can lid and smoking material receptacle of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a sectional side view of a long neck smoking material receptacle having a disposal chute in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a sectional side view of a portion of a smoking material receptacle, illustrating various dimensions of a disposal chute in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a sectional side view of a portion of a smoking material receptacle including a curved disposal chute in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a smoking material receptacle 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The smoking receptacle 10 includes a body 12 mounted on a stationary pole 14 by means of a bracket 16. A lid 20 is provided on the body 12 of the receptacle 10. An opening 26 is provided for disposal of smoking debris, as more fully described below. While a stationary pole 14 is shown in FIG. 1, the receptacle 10 may be mounted on any other surface such as a wall.

FIG. 2 is a side sectional view showing details of the smoking material receptacle 10. The body 12 of the receptacle 10 has an upper rim 13 and a mounting extension 18 which can be secured within the mounting bracket 16 of the pole 14, as shown in FIG. 1. The upper rim 13 and mounting extension 18 of the body 12 are also shown in FIG. 5. A removable waste can 30 rests inside the body 12 of the receptacle. The receptacle 10 may be emptied by lifting the lid 20, removing the waste can 30, and dumping its contents.

FIGS. 2-4 illustrate details of the lid 20 of the receptacle 10. The lid 20 includes a generally cylindrical upper portion 21, an annular ring 22, a generally conical lower section 23 and a bottom surface 24. When the lid 20 is placed on the body 12 of the receptacle, the annular ring 22 rests on the upper rim 13 of the body 12 to provide a partial or complete seal against the escape of smoke and odor from this area of the receptacle. For example, an interference fit may be provided between the body 12 and the lid 20. As shown most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 3, the lid 20 includes an angled chute 25 having an upper opening 26 and a lower opening 27. The arrangement of the chute 25 reduces or eliminates the escape of smoke from the receptacle 10, as more fully described below.

The body 12 and lid 20 of the receptacle 10 may be made of any suitable material such as plastic or metal, for example, polyethylene. The waste can 30 may be made of metal such as steel or aluminum, or any other suitable material.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a base-mounted smoking material receptacle 110 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the receptacle 110 is similar to the receptacle illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, except it is mounted on top of a pole 114 having a base 115. As opposed to the stationary pole-mounted receptacle shown in FIGS. 1-5, the receptacle 110 shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 may be portable to any desired location.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a trash can-mounted smoking material receptacle 210 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. The receptacle 210 is similar to the receptacle 10 shown in FIGS. 1-5, except it is mounted in a trash lid 214 which rests on a trash can 216. As shown most clearly in FIG. 9, the trash can lid 214 includes a pivotable opening flap 215 for placing trash in the can 216. The smoking material receptacle 210 is mounted in the lid 214 at a location which provides sufficient clearance for the flap 215 when it is pivoted inward. The embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 provides a convenient combination of a conventional trash receptacle and a smoking material receptacle.

Although the lid 20 shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 1-9 includes a generally conical lower section 23, any other suitable support structure for the chute 25 may be used. For example, the chute 25 may be solely supported by the lid 20 in the region where the chute 25 connects to the lid 20, i.e., near the upper opening 26. Furthermore, although the upper opening 26 of the chute 25 is provided through the lid 20 in the embodiments of FIGS. 1-9, the chute 25 may alternatively open through the body 12 of the receptacle 10. In this case, it may be necessary to modify the receptacle in order to provide an alternative arrangement for removing the waste can 30 from the body of the receptacle, e.g., the waste can 30 could be removed from the side or bottom of the receptacle.

In accordance with embodiments of the present invention, conventional receptacle designs, such as those having a narrow neck and a wide base, may be modified to provide one or more angled chutes in the disposal opening. One such narrow neck smoking material receptacle is shown in FIG. 10. The receptacle 310 includes a relatively large base portion 312 and a relatively narrow tube 314 extending upwardly therefrom. A waste can 30 is provided inside the base 312 of the receptacle 310. A chute 25 having an upper opening 26 and a lower opening 27 is provided near the top of the neck 314 of the receptacle 310. Discarded smoking materials are inserted through the upper opening 26, and they slide down the chute 25 through the neck 314 and into the waste can 30. In accordance with this embodiment of the present invention, the chute 25 may significantly reduce or eliminate the escape of smoke and odor from the upper opening 26 of the receptacle 310.

FIG. 11 illustrates additional details of the chute design in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. The chute 25 has an inner diameter DC, which is of sufficient size to allow passage of various types of smoking materials. The inner diameter DC of the chute 25 typically ranges from about 1 to about 5 cm, for example, from about 2 to about 4 cm, e.g., from about 2.4 to about 3.7 cm. The opening through the receptacle wall 10 has a diameter DO which is sized for the insertion of the combustible debris. The diameter DO of the wall opening may be substantially the same as the inner diameter DC of the chute, for example, the diameters DO and DC may be within about 100 percent of each other, typically within about 50 percent of each other. In one embodiment, the diameters DO and DC are equal to each other. Although generally circular wall openings and chute cross sections are illustrated in the figures, any other suitable shapes may be used.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11, the receptacle 10 has an inner diameter DR greater than the inner diameter DC of the chute. The receptacle inner diameter DR is typically at least two times greater than the inner diameter DC of the chute, for example, at least five times greater.

As shown in FIG. 11, the axis of the chute 25 is oriented at an angle AC measured from a horizontal plane. The angle AC typically ranges from greater than about 5 degrees to less than about 85 degrees. For example, the angle AC may range from about 20 or 30 degrees to about 60 or 70 degrees. In a particular embodiment, the angle AC may be about 45 degrees.

As shown by dashed lines in FIG. 11, the lower opening 27 of the chute 25 may be oriented in a vertical plane, or may alternatively be oriented at an angle AO with respect to the vertical plane. The angle of the opening AO may be up to about ±45 degrees, for example, ±30 degrees from vertical. In a particular embodiment, the angle AO may be up to about ±10 degrees. Thus, although a vertical lower opening 27 may be preferred, slight variations from such a vertical opening may be used. The upper opening 26 may also be vertical (as shown in the embodiments of FIGS. 1-11) or angled at any desired orientation. For example, the upper opening may be at a 45 degree angle or substantially horizontal, in which case the receptacle may have a recessed portion and/or an extended portion to facilitate deposit of the smoking debris through such an angled or horizontal upper opening.

As shown in FIG. 11, the chute 25 may extend radially inward into the receptacle 10 a distance RC. The radial distance from the centerline of the receptacle 10 to the inner wall of the receptacle 10 is labeled RR in FIG. 10. The extension distance RC of the chute 25 may stop short of the centerline of the receptacle 10, may extend to the centerline of the receptacle 10, or may extend past the centerline of the receptacle. Thus, the radial chute extension distance RC may be less than the inner radius RR of the receptacle, equal to the inner radius RR, or greater than the inner radius RR. Typically, the radial chute extension distance RC is from about 0.1 cm to about 25 cm, for example, from about 1 cm to about 10 or 20 cm.

As shown in FIG. 11, the upper opening 26 of the chute 25 is located at a height HC above the lower opening 27. The height HC typically ranges from about 0.5 cm to about 50 cm, for example, from about 1 cm to about 20 cm.

Although the chute 25 shown in FIG. 11 has a straight, cylindrical shape, any other suitable shape may be used. For example, a curved chute may be used. FIG. 12 illustrates a portion of a receptacle 10 with such a curved chute 125. Furthermore, although a single chute is illustrated in the present figures, additional chutes may alternatively be provided.

In accordance with the present invention, it has been found that smoke and odor generated from smoking materials deposited in the receptacle is contained within the receptacle. The configuration of the angled chute 25 restricts smoke from entering the bottom opening 27 of the chute 25 and escaping through the upper opening 26. The bottom opening 27 of the chute 25 may be aligned in a vertical plane, e.g., as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 11. Although not intending to be bound by any particular theory, the provision of the substantially vertical opening 27 at the bottom of the chute 25 may not allow smoke particles to enter the chute. Furthermore, by providing additional head space above the lower opening 27 in the bottom 12 of the receptacle in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, heated smoke particles rising in the body 12 of the receptacle tend to fill the upper head space, then fall back down in the body 12 upon cooling instead of passing through the lower opening 27. Thus, smoke particles generated by discarded smoking materials are held within the receptacle 10 and do not escape.

The present receptacles typically extinguish smoking materials in less than about 5 or 10 minutes, for example, less than 2 or 3 minutes. It has been found that the present receptacles extinguish smoking materials in significantly less time than conventional receptacles. For example, the present receptacles may extinguish smoking materials at least 2 times faster than conventional designs, typically at least 5 to 10 times faster. As a particular example, the present receptacles may extinguish smoking materials at least 20 or 40 times faster than conventional receptacles.

Whereas particular embodiments of this invention have been described above for purposes of illustration, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that numerous variations of the details of the present invention may be made without departing from the invention as defined in the appended claims.