Title:
Refuse receptacle with integrated replacement liner retaining and dispensing means
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A refuse receptacle for use in storing trash, recyclables and the like, is described that integrates into the upper end thereof a retaining means by which replacement liners may be stored and dispensed proximate their point of use. In one embodiment of the invention, the retaining means is integrated into the rim of the receptacle and may form an upwardly opening cavity in which replacement liners may be stored, a notch into which a separate storage tray may be fitted and held in place with a slot and tab mechanism, or other similar formations. In another embodiment the retaining means is integrated into the upper end of the receptacle and may form a shelf housing into which a tray for retaining liners may be fitted, a bracket mechanism to releasably retain a roll of liners, or other similar formations. In yet other embodiments of the invention, a lid is included. In still other embodiments, stabilizing means are provided to counter-weight the set of replacement liners.



Inventors:
Pyles, Nathan (Lake Mills, WI, US)
Application Number:
09/727879
Publication Date:
06/06/2002
Filing Date:
12/01/2000
Assignee:
Knowmo, L.L.C.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65F1/06; (IPC1-7): B65D25/14; B65D35/14; B65D90/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MEREK, JOSEPH C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICIA SMITH KING (MADISON, WI, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners.

2. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with the upper rim to retain a set of replacement liners.

3. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with the upper rim to retain a set of replacement liners, said retaining means comprising an extension of the rim into which is integrally molded an upwardly opening cavity to house the set of replacement liners.

4. The refuse receptacle of claim 3, in which the retaining means further comprises a cap unit fittable to an opening of the cavity to retain the set of replacement liners as they are individually dispensed through an elongated slot in the cap unit.

5. The refuse receptacle of claim 3, in which the retaining means further comprises a cap unit fittable to an opening of the cavity to retain the set of replacement liners, said cavity further comprising an elongated slot located in a bottom portion thereof to allow the downward, individual dispensement of a liner from the set of replacement liners.

6. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with the upper rim to retain a set of replacement liners, said retaining means comprising: an extension of the rim into which is integrally molded an inwardly extending elongated rectangular notch; a separate housing means to house the set of replacement liners, said housing means comprising a hollow tray having an upper open end and a rim; and, a housing engagement means to hold the tray securely in the rectangular notch.

7. The refuse receptacle of claim 6, in which the housing engagement means comprises a tab and slot mechanism, said tab and slot mechanism being adapted to securely engage the tray and to prevent same from freely exiting the rectangular notch.

8. The refuse receptacle of claim 6, in which the retaining means further comprises a cap unit fittable to the notch opening to retain the set of replacement liners as they are individually dispensed through an elongated slot in the cap unit.

9. The refuse receptacle of claim 6, in which the retaining means further comprises a cap unit fittable to the notch opening to retain the set of replacement liners, and in which said tray further comprises an elongated slot located in a bottom portion thereof to allow the downward, individual dispensement of a liner from the set of replacement liners.

10. The refuse receptacle of claim 6, in which the hollow tray of the separate housing means comprises a packaging in which the set of replacement liners is provided.

11. The packaging of claim 10, further forming an elongated slot to allow the individual dispensement of a liner from the set of replacement liners.

12. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with the upper end of the side wall to retain a set of replacement liners.

13. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with and extending outward from the upper end of the side wall to retain a set of replacement liners, said retaining means comprising a bracketing mechanism to releasably retain a set of replacement liners, said set of replacement liners forming a roll mounted on a hollow core element.

14. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; and, a retaining means integral with and extending outward from the upper end of the side wall to retain a set of replacement liners, said retaining means comprising a support sized to insertably hold a hollow tray in which is housed a set of replacement liners.

15. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a lid.

16. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a lid sized to fit to said upper rim and to cover said retaining means.

17. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the container being adapted to receive therein an inner liner having an open end generally positioned over the rim of the opening; a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners; and,

18. a lid sized to fit to said upper rim and to cover said retaining means, the open end of said inner liner being held therebetween when the lid is placed in position on the rim. The refuse receptacle of claim 15, wherein the lid is pivotally connected to the upper rim on the side opposite the retaining means, said lid being pivotable between a first position, wherein the lid is disposed substantially co-planarly with the upper rim of the container, and at least a second position, wherein at least a portion of the lid is raised above the rim of the container.

19. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a stabilizing means.

20. The refuse receptacle of claim 19, in which the stabilizing means comprises a flange fittable to the base of the refuse receptacle.

21. The refuse receptacle of claim 19, in which the stabilizing means comprises a design modification to one of the at least one side wall opposite the retaining means.

22. The stabilizing means of claim 21, in which the design modification comprises a thickening of the side wall opposite the retaining means.

23. The stabilizing means of claim 21, in which the design modification comprises an increase in height of the side wall opposite the retaining means.

24. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a stabilizing means to counterbalance the weight of the set of replacement liners, said stabilizing means comprising a stabilizing flange fitted to the base of the container.

25. A refuse receptacle, comprising: a container having side walls, said side walls comprising an upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base; a stabilizing offset comprising one of said side walls, said side wall being molded to form a broad vertical spine portion therein, the spine protruding inwardly from the wall forming a flattened u-shaped indentation with a u-shaped portion of the rim formed at its upper end; and, a retaining means integral with said upper end to retain a set of replacement liners.

26. The refuse receptacle of claim 25, wherein said retaining means further comprises, two notches, one of said notches located in each side of the u-shaped portion of the rim, said notches positioned to releasably retain the set of replacement liners, said set of replacement liners forming a roll mounted on a hollow core of card board or the like

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to refuse receptacles, specifically to a refuse receptacle with means for retaining and dispensing replacement liners integrated into its upper portion.

[0002] It is common practice to provide receptacles for trash, recyclables and the like, with disposable liners so that when the receptacle is full, the liner can be removed and a new liner installed making the waste receptacle clean and ready for reuse. Sets of replacement liner bags are usually obtained either in perforated rolls where the liners are separated by tearing along the perforations or in boxes where they are inter-folded so that when one is removed, another is pulled up and ready to remove. Though replacement liners are readily available for purchase and use, they are not always readily available at the site of the refuse receptacle when a full liner bag is removed and the receptacle must be re-lined. The present invention addresses this issue by providing a refuse receptacle with means to retain and dispense replacement liners integrated therein.

[0003] In the accompanying drawings:

[0004] FIG. 1 is a left perspective view from above front showing an embodiment of the invention in which the retaining means forms a hollow cavity integral with the rim and a lid pivotally connected to the rim;

[0005] FIG. 2 is a right perspective view from above front of an embodiment of the present invention in which the retaining means forms a hollow cavity integral with the rim and is fitted with a cap unit slotted for dispensement of individual liners;

[0006] FIG. 3 is a left perspective view from above front showing an embodiment of the present invention in which the retaining means forms a notch in the rim in which a separate storage tray may be retained and shows a cap unit pivotally connected thereto;

[0007] FIG. 4 is a left perspective view from above front showing an embodiment of the present invention similar to that in FIG. 3, but showing the tray of different design with optional slot therein and a stabilizing flange fitted to the base of the receptacle;

[0008] FIG. 5 is a left perspective view from above front showing an embodiment of the present invention in which the retaining means is integrated into the upper end of the receptacle forming a support sized to fit a separate storage tray and showing the lid;

[0009] FIG. 6 is a right perspective view from above showing an embodiment of the present invention in which the retaining means is integrated into the upper end of the receptacle forming a bracketing mechanism to releasably retain a set of replacement liners and also showing the lid; and,

[0010] FIG. 7 is a left perspective view of the present invention showing a wall modified to form a stabilizing offset and retaining means comprising notches in the rim of the stabilizing offset portion of the wall, and a lid.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

[0011] 10 refuse receptacle

[0012] 12 side wall

[0013] 14 rim

[0014] 16 opening

[0015] 18 base

[0016] 20 retaining means

[0017] 22 replacement liners

[0018] 24 cap unit

[0019] 26 slot

[0020] 28 rectangular notch

[0021] 30 tray

[0022] 32 support platform

[0023] 34 bracket mechanism

[0024] 36 lid

[0025] 38 liner

[0026] 40 stabilizing flange

[0027] 42 stabilizing offset

[0028] 44 notch

A. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0029] Referring to the figures, in which identical or similar parts are designated by the same reference numerals throughout, a detailed description of various alternative embodiments of the present invention is given. However, the present invention can assume additional embodiments, as will become apparent to those skilled in the art, without departing from the appended claims.

[0030] Referring now specifically to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the present invention, a refuse receptacle 10 is depicted comprising a container with a number of substantially vertical side walls 12. The side walls 12 comprise an upper rim 14 that defines an open upper end at the top and an opening 16 through which refuse such as trash, recyclables and the like may be deposited into the interior of the container. The side walls 12 also define a lower end and a base 18.

[0031] Integral to the upper end of the container is a retaining means 20 to retain a set of replacement liner bags for lining the interior of the container. As depicted in FIG. 1, the retaining means 20 is formed from an extension of the rim into which a molded cavity has been formed. The cavity is made to a size appropriate to store commonly available replacement rolls or boxes of liners. Thus the cavity forms a convenient storage area to keep replacement liners 22 handily available at the top of the receptacle for easy access when a new liner is needed. The cavity storage area may be formed to a basically rectangular shape or alternatively in a cylindrical shape to better fit replacement liners that come stored on rolls.

[0032] In alternative embodiments and as depicted in FIG. 2, the retaining means 20 may also include a cap unit 24, fittable to the opening of the cavity to hold the set of replacement liners 22 securely in place and to keep the replacement liners 22 free from dirt and debris. The cap unit 24 may be a separate piece (as shown in FIG. 2) or it may be pivotally connected to an edge of the retaining means 20 (as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) allowing it to pivot between a closed and an open position.

[0033] Optionally, the cap unit 24 may also include an elongated slot 26 to aid in dispensing replacement liners therethrough one at a time. Another option is to leave the cap unit 24 as a solid cover, while providing a slot in the underside of the storage cavity. In this way, individual replacement liners may be dispensed by pulling them down and out from the storage cavity, while they remain clean and dry because they are covered above by a solid cap unit 24. Both alternatives are depicted in FIG. 2.

[0034] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, alternative embodiments of the retaining means 20 are depicted. In these embodiments the retaining means 20 comprises a rectangular notch 28 molded into one end of the rim 14 and a tray 30 into which a replacement set of liners 22 may be stored. The notch 28 and tray 30 fit together by means of a slot and tab mechanism. As depicted in the figures, the notch 28 contains a slot along its inner surface. A matching tab is formed of the outer edge of the tray 30. In this way, the tray 30 may be slid into the slot of the notch 28, thereby securing the tray in place. Alternatively, the notch 28 may be tabbed while the tray 30 is slotted.

[0035] The tray 30 may be formed in various shapes such as the cylindrical shape shown in FIG. 3, the rectangular shape shown in FIG. 4, or any number of other shapes as warranted by the form in which replacement liners are supplied. Additionally, the packaging in which the replacement liners 22 are provided may form a disposable version of tray 30, similarly custom-fitting to the particular retaining means 20. Like the non-disposable version, the disposable tray 30 may be of varying sizes and shapes with tabs, slots or other means by which it may be fitted to the retaining means 20.

[0036] Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, still other alternative embodiments of the retaining means 20 are depicted. In these embodiments the retaining means 20 are not formed from the rim 14 as previously described, but rather are integral to the upper end of the receptacle 10. In FIG. 5, the retaining means 20 comprises a support platform 32 sized to hold a tray 30 into which replacement liners 22 are stored. The tray 30 is simply slid into place in the support platform 32 to securely hold it in place. In FIG. 6, the retaining means 20 comprises a set of bracket mechanisms 34 designed to releasably retain a set of replacement liners 22. This particular design works well with replacement liners 22 that come mounted on a hollow core tube of card board or the like. Each end of the tube can be held in place at each bracket 34, allowing the roll to revolve freely as individual liners are dispensed therefrom.

[0037] The retaining means 20 may alternatively be integrated into one or more handles on the refuse receptacle 10. The handles of a receptacle are generally formed integral to its upper portion, sometimes in the rim 14 specifically. In either case, the retainer means 20 may, in likewise being integral to the upper portion generally, or rim specifically, be integral to one or more handles.

[0038] The refuse receptacle 10 of the present invention may additionally include a lid 36. The lid 36 may be a separate piece as depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6, or pivotally attached to one end of the rim 14 as depicted in FIG. 1, in which case it may freely rotate between an open and closed position.

[0039] The lid 36 is sized to fit snugly over the rim 14, and any extensions thereof including the retaining means 20. Since an inner liner 38 is normally placed in the interior of the receptacle with its open end positioned over the edge of the rim, capping the rim 14 of the receptacle 10 with the lid 36, forming a sort of a bezel, serves to hold the liner 38 in place, preventing it from collapsing inwardly as refuse is deposited. The lid 36 forms a cover to the retaining means 20 of the sort described previously with an opening in the rim 14. Like the cap unit 24, the portion of the lid 36 forming a cover to the housing for the replacement liners 22, may contain a slot 26 to allow individual liners to be dispensed therefrom.

[0040] Because the retaining means 20 is designed to store a set of replacement liners 22, and the replacement liners 22 may weigh a significant amount, the receptacle 10 may require counter-balancing for stability since the weight of the replacement liners 22 is generally not centrally positioned. Many alternative embodiments exist for stabilizing means. For example, various of the side walls 12 may be angled, sized, weighted or otherwise designed differently than others to effect a counter-balance. The rim 14 may be modified to two retaining means 20, symmetrically placed so as to balance each other, avoiding the problem all together.

[0041] One simple stabilizing means is to employ a stabilizing flange 40 at the base 18 of the receptacle 10. Referring to FIG. 4, the stabilizing flange 40 is shown fitted to the base 18 of the container. The stabilizing flange 40 may be a separate piece into which the base 18 is securely set, or it may be formed integrally with the base 18 forming a solid unit.

[0042] Another embodiment of a stabilizing means is illustrated in FIG. 7. As depicted, the side wall 12 on the side where the retaining means 20 is located, is designed in such a way as to form a stabilizing offset 42. The front side wall 12 is seen molded to form a broad vertical spine portion that protrudes inwardly from the side wall 12 to form a flattened U-shaped indentation. This allows the side wall 12 to support a great deal more weight without tipping over.

[0043] FIG. 7 also depicts yet another alternative embodiment of a retaining means 20 wherein two notches 44 are formed in the sides of the U-shaped rim at the top of the stabilizing offset 42. The width of the stabilizing offset 42 and the position of the notches 44 coordinate to support a replacement roll of liners 22. This design is particularly well-suited to supporting replacement liners 22 forming a roll on a hollow core of card board or the like. The ends of the hollow core can be easily and releasably fitted to and supported by the notches 44, allowing the roll to freely rotate as individual liners are dispensed therefrom.

B. OTHER EMBODIMENTS

[0044] While the above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of various embodiments thereof. The above-described embodiments are set forth by way of example and are not for the purpose of limiting the present invention. It will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that obvious modifications, derivations and variations can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example,

[0045] a) the receptacle can assume various alternative shapes and sizes to accommodate its particular use and location, for example, though illustrated generally as rectangular in shape, the main body of the receptacle can alternatively be cylindrical;

[0046] b) the retaining means to retain a set of replacement liners may take many alternative forms and may depend upon the form of the liner refill packaging. The rim, for example, may contain extensions downward from the underside of the portion of the rim extending forward from the receptacle. These extensions may be adapted to releasably retain replacement sets of liners;

[0047] c) the lid, though described above as fitting to the rim of the receptacle and leaving the opening unobstructed, may additionally comprise a cover portion attached to the lid, to close the opening when the receptacle is used outdoors or in other situations;

[0048] d) the retaining means as described, may be integrated into the rim or elsewhere in the upper portion of the receptacle, and this may also include integration into a handle structure, thus forming a dual-functioning handle-liner retainer-dispenser component of the receptacle;

[0049] e) liner rolls may be retained in various orientations to the add-on unit including horizontally, as depicted generally in the drawings, or vertically; and,

[0050] f) the retaining means may include a locking mechanism to secure the liners where the refuse receptacle is exposed to that sort of risk.

[0051] Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the examples given, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. claims