Title:
Replacement liner dispenser add-on unit attachable to refuse receptacle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A replacement liner dispenser add-on unit for use in storing replacement liners for lining a refuse container used to store trash, recyclables and the like, is described that can be fitted to the rim of the container. The add-on unit may be made to fit containers already in use, or specially formed to fit new containers. The add-on unit forms a bezel to fit to the rim of a refuse container and comprises retaining means by which replacement liners may be stored and dispensed proximate their point of use. Many alternative embodiments of the retaining means are possible, including 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, 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 cover 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:
09/728325
Publication Date:
07/25/2002
Filing Date:
12/01/2000
Assignee:
Knowmo, L.L.C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/495.11
International Classes:
B65F1/06; (IPC1-7): B65D25/14; B65D35/14; B65D90/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MOY, JOSEPH MAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICIA SMITH KING (MADISON, WI, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners.

2. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, said retaining means comprising an extension of the seat portion into which is integrally molded an upwardly opening cavity to house the set of replacement liners.

3. The refuse receptacle add-on unit of claim 2, 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.

4. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, comprising: an extension of the seat portion 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.

5. The refuse receptacle add-on unit of claim 4, 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.

6. The refuse receptacle add-on unit of claim 4, 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.

7. The refuse receptacle add-on unit of claim 4, 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.

8. The refuse receptacle of claim 4, in which the hollow tray of the separate housing means comprises a packaging in which the set of replacement liners is provided.

9. The refuse housing means of claim 8 in which the packaging further forms an elongated slot to allow the individual dispensement of a liner from the set of replacement liners.

10. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, 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.

11. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, comprising a support sized to insertably hold a hollow tray in which is housed a set of replacement liners.

12. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a cover.

13. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liner; and, a cover sized to fit to the add-on unit and to cover said retaining means.

14. The refuse receptacle add-on unit of claim 13, wherein the cover is pivotally connected to the seat portion on the side opposite the retaining means, said cover being pivotable between a first position, wherein the cover is disposed substantially co-planarly with the seat portion, and at least a second position, wherein at least a portion of the lid is raised above the seat portion.

15. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a stabilizing means.

16. A refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to an upper rim of a refuse receptacle comprising a container having at least one side wall, said at least one side wall comprising the upper rim defining an open upper end and an opening, and a closed lower end defining a base, the add-on unit comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a stabilizing means comprising a stabilizing flange fitted to a base of the container.

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; and, a refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising a retaining means integral with the add-on unit to retain a set of replacement liners.

18. 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 refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners.

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; and, a refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, said retaining means comprising an extension of the seat portion into which is integrally molded an upwardly opening cavity to house the set of replacement liners.

20. 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 refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, comprising: an extension of the seat portion 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.

21. 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 refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; and, a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners, 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.

22. 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 refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the rim of the container; a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a cover.

23. 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 refuse receptacle add-on unit attachable to the rim of the container, comprising: a bezel disposed substantially co-planarly with the rim of the container when the add-on unit is seated thereon to secure the add-on unit to the rim of the container, said bezel comprising: a seat portion adapted to rest on the rim of the container; a leg portion disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion to secure the bezel to the container; a retaining means integral with the seat portion to retain a set of replacement liners; and, a stabilizing means.

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to refuse receptacles, specifically to a refuse receptacle dispenser add-on unit attachable to a refuse receptacle, with means for retaining and dispensing replacement liners integrated therein.

[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 replacement liner dispenser add-on unit fittable to refuse receptacles, with means to retain and dispense replacement liners integrated therein. The dispenser unit may be customized to fit old or new refuse receptacles.

[0003] In the accompanying drawings:

[0004] FIG. 1 is a right perspective view from above of the present invention;

[0005] FIG. 2 depicts the present invention in position over a refuse container for placement thereon;

[0006] FIG. 3 like FIG. 2, depicts the present invention in position relative to the container, but with an alternative embodiment of the retaining means;

[0007] FIG. 4 is a left perspective view from above front showing an embodiment of the present invention showing the tray 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 invention in which the retaining means forms a hollow cavity integral with the rim and a lid pivotally connected to the rim;

[0009] FIG. 6 shows the cover of FIG. 5 in its closed position; and,

[0010] FIG. 7 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. 1

Reference Numerals In Drawings
10 add-on unit11 seat portion
12 leg portion13 container
14 rim16 opening
18 base20 retaining means
22 replacement liners24 cap unit
26 slot28 rectangular notch
30 tray34 bracket mechanism
36 lid38 liner
40 stabilizing flange

A. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0011] 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.

[0012] Referring now specifically to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the present invention, a refuse receptacle add-on unit 10, is depicted comprising a bezel with an upper seat portion 11 and a lower leg portion 12. A retaining means 20 is integral to the seat portion 11 and functions to retain a set of replacement liners 22 used to line a refuse container 13.

[0013] Referring to FIG. 2, the add-on unit 10 is depicted in relative position with a container 13. The container 13 comprises a number of substantially vertical side walls. The side walls 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 also define a lower end and a base 18. When the add-on unit 10 is positioned on the container 13, the seat portion 11 of the add-on unit 10 rests on the rim of the container 13, and the leg portion 12 of the add-on unit 10 functions to secure the add-on unit 10 in place. Since an inner liner 38 is normally placed in the interior of the container 13 with its open end positioned over the edge of the rim 14, capping the rim 14 of the container 13 with the add-on unit 10 bezel serves to hold the liner 38 in place, preventing it from collapsing inwardly as refuse is deposited.

[0014] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, the add-on unit 10 bezel is L-shaped in cross-section and includes the seat portion 11 adapted to rest on the container rim 14 and the leg portion 12 comprising a depending leg disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion 11 that is adapted to abut against the inside surface of the container 13 side walls when the add-on unit 10 is in place. Several alternative embodiments of the leg portion 12 are possible, including that depicted in FIG. 2 in which the add-on unit 10 bezel is U-shaped in cross-section including the seat portion 11 and the leg portion 12 which comprises two depending legs disposed substantially perpendicularly to the seat portion 11, one of which is adapted to abut against the inside surface of the container 13 side walls and the other adapted to abut against the outside surface of the container 13 side walls when the add-on unit 10 is in place. When an outer leg is present, it may vary in length from longer as depicted in FIG. 2 to shorter as depicted in FIGS. 1 and 4-7.

[0015] The retaining means 20 is integral to the seat portion 11 of the bezel and functions to retain a set of replacement liner bags 22 for lining the interior of the container 13. As depicted in FIG. 1, the retaining means 20 is formed from an extension of the seat portion 11 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 container 13 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.

[0016] In alternative embodiments and as depicted in FIGS. 4 and 7, 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. 7) or it may be pivotally connected to an edge of the retaining means 20 (as shown in FIG. 4) allowing it to pivot between a closed and an open position.

[0017] 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 or in a tray 30 (see FIG. 4). In this way, individual replacement liners may be dispensed by pulling them out from the storage cavity or tray 30, while they remain clean and dry because they are covered above by a solid cap unit 24.

[0018] Referring to FIG. 4, an alternative embodiment of the retaining means 20 is depicted. In this embodiment the retaining means 20 comprises a rectangular notch 28 molded into one end of the seat portion 11 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 figure, 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.

[0019] The tray 30 may be formed in various shapes such as cylindrical, rectangular (as depicted 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.

[0020] Several other alternative embodiments of the retaining means 20 are possible. For example, the retaining means 20 may comprise a support platform sized to hold the tray 30 into which replacement liners 22 are stored. The tray 30 is simply slid into place onto the support platform 32 to securely hold it in place. Alternatively, and as depicted in FIG. 2, the retaining means 20 may comprise 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.

[0021] The refuse receptacle add-on unit 10 of the present invention may additionally include a cover 36. The cover 36 may be a separate piece or pivotally attached to one end of the seat portion 11 as depicted in FIG. 5, in which case it may freely rotate between an open and closed position (see FIG. 6 in which cover shown in closed position).

[0022] The cover 36 is sized to fit snugly over the top of the seat portion 11, and any extensions thereof including the retaining means 20. The cover 36 may thus form a cover to the retaining means 20, eliminating the need for the cap unit 24. Like the cap unit 24, the portion of the cover 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 (as depicted in FIGS. 5 and 6). The cover 36 may be open or solid over the opening of the container 13. If open, refuse may be deposited while the cover 36 is in the closed position, as access to the opening of the container 13 is unobstructed. If solid, the cover 36 serves also as a cover to the container 13 to contain the refuse within and to keep rain and pests out, in which case it must be opened to deposit refuse.

[0023] The add-on unit 10, and cover 36 when present, may additionally form one or more handles. The handles may, in some alternatives, be integral with the retaining means 20.

[0024] 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 container 13 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 of the container 13 may be angled, sized or weighted differently than others to effect a counter-balance. The seat portion 11 of the add-on unit 10 may be modified to two retaining means 20, symmetrically positioned so as to balance each other, avoiding the problem all together.

[0025] One simple stabilizing means is to employ a stabilizing flange 40 at the base 18 of the container 13. Referring to FIG. 4, the stabilizing flange 40 is shown fitted to the base 18 of the container 13. 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.

B. OTHER EMBODIMENTS

[0026] 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,

[0027] a) the container 13 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 container 13 can alternatively be cylindrical. The add-on unit 10 will thus assume various alternative shapes to match the container 13 shape accordingly;

[0028] b) the retaining means 20 to retain a set of replacement liners may take many alternative forms and may depend upon the form of the liner refill packaging. The seat portion 11 for example, may contain extensions and these extensions may be adapted to releasably retain replacement sets of liners;

[0029] c) the add-on unit 10, with or without the cover 36, may form one or more handles which may be integral with retaining means 20.

[0030] d) liner rolls may be retained in various orientations to the add-on unit including horizontally, as depicted generally in the drawings, or vertically; and,

[0031] e) the retaining means may include a locking mechanism to secure the liners where the refuse receptacle is exposed to that sort of risk.

[0032] Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the examples given, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.