Title:
Disposable coverlet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disposable coverlets for waste containers having various cross-sections that trap unwanted odors and conceal the unsightly items in a waste container. The disposable coverlets are made of heavy interliner cloth material and have an elastic edge portion that ensures a snug fit over the mouth of the waste container. The disposable coverlet has perforations in the form of radiating slits or an H-shaped slit to form a decorative appearance making the coverlets both attractive and functional. The slits can be formed in an optional plastic layer attached to the coverlets.



Inventors:
Tyree, Kellie E. (Lynchburg, VA, US)
Application Number:
09/808145
Publication Date:
11/01/2001
Filing Date:
03/15/2001
Assignee:
TYREE KELLIE E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/287
International Classes:
B65F1/16; (IPC1-7): B65D51/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NEWHOUSE, NATHAN JEFFREY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A disposable coverlet for waste receptacles comprising: a cloth portion having a periphery and a centrally disposed opening selected from a circle, an oval and a rectangle and said opening containing perforations; said perforations selected from the group consisting of radiating slits from a center of a circle and an H-shaped slit; and an elastic portion that traverses the periphery of said cloth portion for securing the coverlet to a waste receptacle.

2. The disposable coverlet according to claim 1, wherein the opening defined by the cloth portion has an circular shape.

3. The disposable coverlet according to claim 1, wherein the opening defined by the cloth portion has an oval shape.

4. The disposable coverlet according to claim 1, wherein the opening defined by the cloth portion has a rectangular shape.

5. The disposable coverlet according to claim 1, wherein said perforations are radiating slits from a center of a circle.

6. The disposable coverlet according to claim 1, wherein said perforations are an H-shaped slit.

7. A disposable coverlet for waste receptacles comprising: a cloth portion having a centrally disposed opening defined therein and having a periphery; a plastic portion having perforations disposed in the opening defined in said cloth portion; and an elastic portion that traverses the periphery of said cloth portion for securing the coverlet to a waste receptacle.

8. The disposable coverlet according to claim 7, wherein the opening defined by the cloth portion has an circular shape.

9. The disposable coverlet according to claim 7, wherein the opening defined by the cloth portion has an oval shape.

10. The disposable coverlet according to claim 7, wherein the opening defined by the cloth portion has a rectangular shape.

11. The disposable coverlet according to claim 7, wherein said perforations are radiating slits from a center of a circle.

12. The disposable coverlet according to claim 7, wherein said perforations are an H-shaped slit.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/199,819, filed Apr. 26, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to covers for receptacles, and more particularly to a cover for waste containers designed to reduce odors and to conceal unsightly waste container items.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] Waste receptacles frequently contain unsightly items that are capable of producing unpleasant odors. Some waste containers come with a top lid to cover the mouth of the waste receptacle. However, many of the top lid covers can be difficult to repeatedly open and close. Furthermore, the top lid can become dirty and unsightly due to frequent contact with the items being disposed. In addition, most top lids of waste containers do a poor job in preventing unpleasant odors generated by the waste container contents from escaping, which results in a room full of unpleasant odors.

[0006] The relevant art of interest describes different types of covers used to cover a waste receptacle, but none discloses the present invention. There is a need for an economical, simple-to-use coverlet for minimizing the escape of obnoxious waste material in receptacles. The following relevant art will be discussed in the order of perceived relevance to the present invention.

[0007] European Patent Application No. 0 339 729 A1, published Nov. 2, 1989, describes a closure for a waste receptacle. The cover is completely open at the upper side and consists of two flexible plates arranged above each other. Each plate has radial slits whereby the slits in both plates are staggered. The closure is distinguishable for requiring two plastic radially slit covers arranged in layers.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,025,947, issued on Jun. 25, 1991 to Marcello Leone, describes a single-dose beverage cup and a rectangular cross-sectioned straw assembly comprising a cup lid with breakage-facilitating weakened lines varying from two V-cuts joined by a line, four radial intersecting lines, and an X-shaped cut. The cup lid assemblies are distinguishable for requiring a straw with a rectangular cross-section.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 2,080,108, issued on May 11, 1937 to Samuel J. Brandstein, describes a cover for bowl containers of different sizes comprising a circular or polygonal cover made from textile fabric, leather, rubber, oiled silk or cellophane with a peripheral drawstring made of rubber. The cover is distinguishable for its imperforated surface.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 2,903,034, issued on Sep. 8, 1959 to Charles Vrana, describes a ventilated food receptacle and cover comprising a square sheet with its corners folded back and heat welded to firm a tubular passageway for an elastic band and leaving four spaces for ventilation. The corners are placed over the bowl. The cover is distinguishable for its four-corner structure.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 3,315,402, issued on Apr. 25, 1967 to Charles D. Scott et al., describes a live bait container with an improved cover containing a longitudinal slit. The elastic cover is distinguishable for its single slit to permit entry of fingers and prevent exiting of the bait.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 4,328,904, issued on May 11, 1982 to Elaine J. Iverson, describes a spill-proof container and closure comprising a rubber closure having two to four overlapping arcuate flaps. The closure is distinguishable for requiring overlapping rubber flaps.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 2,436,291, issued on Feb. 17, 1948 to Lewis H. Daniel, describes a self-sealing closure for containers comprising a threaded cover made from a layer of rubber having crossed slits held between rings of hard rubber, plastic, wood, and metal. An applicator having a pledget of cotton can be inserted through the closure for liquid material in the container having a threaded neck. The closure is distinguishable for its requirement for a cover containing rings and threading.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 4,427,110, issued on Jan. 24, 1984 to Kenneth N. Shaw, Jr., describes an apparatus for handling used disposable diapers having a canister with a rim and a seal insert supported by the rim of the canister base. The seal insert has a plurality of radial slits. The top has a depending flange and a frustoconical plunger to flex the seal open. The apparatus is distinguishable for its required plunger structure.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 5,865,407, issued on Feb. 2, 1999 to Gerald I. Effa, describes covers to both shield an unsightly structure and to provide a waste receptacle or an inner liner for a waste container. The cover is installed by displacing it downwardly over the container or tray jack to conceal the latter. Then, the closed end segment of the cover is displaced downwardly through the opening defined by the crosspieces and flexible straps of a tray jack to form a waste-receiving pouch or receptacle. The covers are distinguishable for requiring cross-pieces and flexible tray jack straps, and failing to recognize the covering of the container opening.

[0016] E.P.O. Patent Application No. 0 436 839 A1, published on Jul. 17, 1991, describes an improved lid for plastic packages with a carrying handle, comprising a lid having a cut to define two flaps for inserting a band-like element to be inserted into the cut, so that the band-like element is raised to a carrying position. The lid is distinguishable for its handle structure.

[0017] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] The present invention provides a disposable coverlet for waste containers that is designed to trap odors and to conceal the unsightly contents of a waste container. The disposable coverlet of the prevent invention can be used in any setting, e.g., in the home, in the office and in hospitals. The disposable coverlet has a very thin unwoven cloth body portion and a centrally disposed plastic portion with perforations. The plastic portion enhances the odor trapping properties of the coverlet, and the perforations allow the size of the opening in the coverlet to be varied. The coverlet has an elastic band incorporated within its peripheral edge for securing the coverlet to a waste container.

[0019] The waste container coverlet is easy and convenient to use. The expandable elastic portion of the coverlet allows the coverlet to be easily installed on a waste container and readily removed from a waste container. Therefore, a person can quickly remove a used coverlet from a waste container and promptly install a new coverlet on the waste container with a minimum amount of time and effort.

[0020] In an alternate embodiment, the disposable coverlet has an unwoven cloth portion, but does not have a plastic portion. This embodiment is also very effective in trapping unwanted odors and in concealing unsightly waste container items. The perforations for the coverlet opening are made in the unwoven cloth portion. The coverlets of the present invention are fast to attach, convenient, effective, disposable, and cost efficient.

[0021] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a waste receptacle cover that is decorative, functional, and disposable.

[0022] It is another object of the invention to provide a waste receptacle cover that reduces the unpleasant odors emanating from a waste container.

[0023] It is a further object of the invention to provide a waste receptacle cover that neatly conceals unsightly waste container items.

[0024] Still another object of the invention is to provide a waste receptacle cover that is easily installed on and removed from a waste receptacle.

[0025] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a disposable coverlet for waste receptacles for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0026] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] FIG. 1A is an environmental, perspective view of a first embodiment of a disposable coverlet covering a container with a rectangular opening according to the present invention.

[0028] FIG. 1B is an environmental, perspective view of a second embodiment of a disposable coverlet covering a container with a circular opening.

[0029] FIG. 2A is an environmental, perspective view of a third embodiment of a disposable coverlet without a plastic center covering a container with a rectangular opening.

[0030] FIG. 2B is an environmental, perspective view of a fourth embodiment of a disposable coverlet without a plastic center covering a container with a circular opening.

[0031] FIG. 3A is an exploded top plan view of the first embodiment of a disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0032] FIG. 3B is an exploded top plan view of the third embodiment of a disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0033] FIG. 4A is a top plan view of the first step in the method of making the first embodiment in FIG. 1A of a disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0034] FIG. 4B is a top plan view of the second step in the method of making the first embodiment in FIG. 1A of the disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0035] FIG. 4C is a top plan view of the third step in the method of making the first embodiment in FIG. 1A of the disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0036] FIG. 4D is a top plan view of the fourth step in the method of making the first embodiment in FIG. 1A of the disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0037] FIG. 4E is a top plan view of the fifth step in the method of making the first embodiment in FIG. 1A of the disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0038] FIG. 4F is a top plan view of the sixth and final step in the method of making the first embodiment in FIG. 1A of the disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0039] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the method of making the third embodiment in FIG. 2A of the disposable rectangular coverlet.

[0040] FIG. 6A is a top plan view of the second embodiment in FIG. 1B of a disposable coverlet for a round container.

[0041] FIG. 6B is a top plan view of the fourth embodiment in FIG. 2B of a disposable coverlet for a round container.

[0042] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0043] The present invention, as depicted in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A through 4F, 5, 6A, and 6B is a disposable coverlet 100 for waste receptacles or containers 108. The disposable coverlet 100 of the present invention easily slips over the mouth 110 of a waste container 108 and conveniently covers the unsightly and odorous items routinely found in waste containers 108. The elastic cord portion 106 of the disposable coverlet 100 ensures that the coverlet 100 securely and snugly fits the contour of the waste container 108. The tight fit provided by the elastic cord portion 106 of the coverlet 100 virtually eliminates the escape of any unpleasant odors from the waste container 108 even though there are perforations in the coverlet.

[0044] FIG. 1A shows an environmental, perspective view of a first embodiment of the disposable waste container coverlet 100 covering a waste container 108 that has a rectangular opening or mouth 110 and a flat bottom 114. The disposable coverlet 100 is configured to conform to the contour of the waste container mouth 110. The disposable coverlet 100 is primarily made of an unwoven cloth material 102, and has a centrally disposed perforated plastic portion 104 having radial slits 196. The cloth body 102 is made of a strong and durable unwoven cloth material that is capable of withstanding the rigors of repeated use prior to disposal, such as “interface” Pellon® and the like materials made of either polyester or rayon, colored white or black, and comes in different weights such as light, medium or heavy).

[0045] The centrally disposed perforated plastic portion 104 allows the size of the opening of the coverlet 100 to be varied depending upon the needs or requirements of the waste container 108. For example, a waste container 108 in an business office would have an opening large enough to accommodate pieces of discarded paper while a waste container 108 in a hospital would have a limited opening to accommodate discarded needles. The plastic portion 104 of the coverlet 100 enhances the odor retention properties of the coverlet 100.

[0046] FIG. 1B shows an environmental, perspective view of a second embodiment of a disposable coverlet 100 with an elastic cord portion 106 covering a cylindrical waste container 108 with a circular opening 112 and a closed bottom 114. The second embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 also has a cloth body 102 having a centrally disposed plastic portion 104 with radial slits 196.

[0047] FIG. 2A is an environmental, perspective view of a third embodiment of a disposable coverlet 100 with an elastic cord portion 106 covering a waste container 108 with a rectangular opening 110. The third embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 does not have a plastic portion 104. In this embodiment, the perforations 186 (widthwise slit), 188 (length-wise slit) in a heavy weight cloth material 102 are made in the shape of an H.

[0048] FIG. 2B is an environmental, perspective view of a fourth embodiment of a disposable coverlet 100 having an elastic cord portion 106 covering a cylindrical waste container 108 with a circular opening 112. The fourth embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100, again does not have a plastic portion 104, and the perforations 196 for the disposable coverlet opening are in the heavy weight cloth material 102.

[0049] FIG. 3A is an exploded view of the first embodiment of a disposable rectangular coverlet 100 showing the cloth body 102 with an oval cutout portion 142. The elastic cord 106 is laid out and slightly less in size with the cloth body 102 to provide a narrowed but stretchable region. An oval perforated plastic portion 104 slightly larger in size than the oval cutout portion 142 is shown with radial slits 196 extending short of the edge.

[0050] FIG. 3B is an exploded view of the third embodiment of a disposable coverlet 100 showing the heavy weight cloth portion 102 having its H-shaped perforation having a pair of widthwise or vertical slits 186 and a lengthwise or horizontal slit 188. There is no perforated plastic portion 104 utilized in this embodiment. The elastic cord 106 of the disposable coverlet 100 is again shown laid out. The preparation of this embodiment will be discussed fully with reference to FIG. 5 below.

[0051] FIGS. 4A-4F illustrate the manufacturing steps for making the embodiments of the disposable coverlet 100 that employ a plastic center 104. FIG. 4A shows a top plan view of the first step in the method of making the plastic center 104 embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 for a waste container 108 with a rectangular opening. The waste container 108 is inverted to place the mouth of the waste container on the central portion 116 of the rectangular piece of cloth material 102 to mark the rectangular outline 118 of the container's mouth. Next, measure 2 inches out from the outline 118 of the waste container 108, and mark each side to form a dashed rectangular outline 120 on the cloth material 102. Then, cut the cloth material 102 along the dashed outline 120 to produce a smaller rectangular piece 118 having an upper edge 124, a right side edge 126a, a left side edge 126b, and a lower edge 128 to define the outside edges of the precursor coverlet 100 for the next step. The same procedure also applies to the making of the disposable coverlet 100 for a waste container with a round mouth, except a circular cut of the cloth material is made.

[0052] In step 2, the resulting smaller rectangular piece of cloth material 102 is folded in half lengthwise so that the edges 124 and 128 meet as shown in FIG. 4B. Next, measure along the folded edge 130 of the cloth 102 inwards from the side edges 126a, 126b 4 inches and mark oval cutout points 134a, 134b. Next, measure 3½ inches from the middle 138 of the upper edges 124, 128 of the cloth downwards and mark oval cutout point 136. The marks 134a, 134b and 136 indicate where the oval shape 132 and cut is made as depicted in FIG. 4B. The half-oval 140 is cut out of the cloth material 102 as shown in FIG. 4C.

[0053] In step 3, the cloth material 102 is opened up to reveal a full size oval 142 as shown in FIG. 4C. The next step in the preparation process is preparation of the plastic center portion 104. Place a rectangular piece of plastic material 104 evenly over the centrally disposed full size oval cut 142 as shown in FIG. 4C (step 4). Measure 1 inch outward from the upper boundary 144, the lower boundary 146, the right lateral boundary 148a, and the left lateral boundary 148b of the oval shaped opening 142 to mark the dashed rectangle having sides 150 (upper), 152 (lower), 154a (right), and 154b (left), respectively, as depicted in FIG. 4C, and cutting the rectangular piece of plastic portion 104 at the designated markings 150, 152, 154a, and 154b to produce a smaller rectangular piece of plastic 104.

[0054] As shown in FIG. 4D, place the cut smaller rectangular piece of plastic portion 104 over the oval shaped opening 142, and making certain that there is a spacing of at least an inch of plastic portion 104 on each side of the oval shaped opening 142. Marking the cloth material 102 at the straight edges 156 (upper), 158 (lower), 160a (right), and 160b (left), respectively, of the plastic portion 104, so that the plastic portion 104 can be readily replaced after an adhesive such as glue is applied to the cloth material 102. Next, place a mark at the center 162 of the piece of plastic portion 104.

[0055] After radiating perforations or slits 164 have been made in the plastic portion 104 as shown in FIG. 4D, remove the plastic portion 104 from the cloth material 102, and apply an adhesive to the area adjacent and outside the oval shaped opening 142. Place the plastic portion 104 back over the oval 142 using the plastic portion's edge marks 156, 158, 160a, and 160b as a guide. The side of the cloth material 102 to which the plastic portion 104 is adhesively applied constitutes the bottom surface of the coverlet 100.

[0056] In steps 5 and 6 illustrated in FIG. 4E, with the bottom surface 166 of the cloth material 102 up, fold each side 124 (upper), 126a (right), 126b (left), and 128 (lower) of the cloth material 102 over an inch.

[0057] Referring to FIG. 4F, unfold the cloth material 102 and place elastic cord 106 in the bend 168 of the fold 174 (FIG. 4E). Fold the cloth material 102 back over the elastic portion 106, and place a pin 172 through the top 170 of the fold 174 to hold the elastic cord 106 in place as shown in FIG. 4F (step 7). Pin the cloth material 102 together with the elastic cord 106 still in the fold 174. All four sides will have the elastic cord 106 enclosed.

[0058] Using an edger stitch machine, place the edge of material fold 176 under the machine's sewing foot, making certain that the elastic 106 is also under the sewing machine's foot, and stitch the edge of the material fold 176 and the elastic 106 together (step 8). It is critical to maintain the elastic 106 stretched during sewing. As one side 182 (right) is finished, sew past the end of the cloth material 102. Repeat the procedure for the remaining sides 178 (upper edge), 180 (left side edge), 182 (right side edge), and 184 (lower edge) of the cloth material 102. After sewing is completed, cut off any excess elastic cord 106. The edger stitching automatically creates a ruffle and a tensioning of the borders of the coverlet 100 to secure to the container rim.

[0059] FIG. 5 is a top plan view illustrating the method for making the third embodiment, i.e., FIG. 2A, of the rectangular disposable coverlet 100 with an H-shaped perforation 188. The third embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 does not have a plastic portion 104, and is made for a waste container 108 with a rectangular mouth or opening 110. The first step in making the third embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 is the perforation of the disposable coverlet 100 to form an H-shaped perforation. Two vertical and parallel perforations 186 (dashed lines) are made along the width of the cloth 102 beginning approximately 4 inches from the edges 124 (upper), 126a (right) 126b (left), and 128 (lower) of the cloth 102 as shown in FIG. Perforation 188 is then made horizontally down the center 190 of the cloth 102 connecting the vertical perforations 186 as depicted in FIG. 5. The remaining steps in the making of the third embodiment of disposable coverlet 100 are the same as steps 6, 7, and 8 in the making of the first embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100.

[0060] FIG. 6A is a top view of the second embodiment of a disposable coverlet 100 for a cylindrical waste container 108 with a round mouth or opening 112. The steps involved in making the second embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 are the same as the steps in making the first embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 except that a circular opening 192 is made in the cloth 102, and a circular overlapping piece of radially perforated plastic portion 194 is sewn into the center of the cloth body 102. An elastic cord 106 is sewn around the periphery of the cloth body 102, and radial cuts 196 (dashed lines) are made to complete the coverlet 100.

[0061] FIG. 6B is a top plan view of the fourth embodiment (FIG. 2B) of a heavy weight disposable coverlet 100 for a waste container 108 with a round mouth or opening 112. The steps involved in making the fourth embodiment of the disposable coverlet 100 are the same as the steps in making the fourth embodiment (FIG. 2B) of the disposable coverlet 100 except that the radial perforations 196 do not have a plastic backing as shown in FIG. 6B.

[0062] The disposable coverlets of the present invention can be used in a wide variety of settings such as department stores, supermarkets, and office buildings. Hospitals and nursing homes would find the disposable coverlet to be extremely beneficial. The disposable coverlet is very effective in trapping unpleasant odors and in concealing unsightly waste container items, and the decorative exterior of the disposable coverlet enhances the decor of a room.

[0063] The preferred embodiments of the present invention disclosed herein are intended to be illustrative only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. It should be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications and adaptations of the present invention as well as alternative embodiments of the present invention may be contemplated.

[0064] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.





 
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