Title:
Wastebasket with adjoining storage compartment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wastebasket assembly has two compartments including a first receptacle adapted to contain refuse and a second receptacle that forms a storage compartment. The second receptacle is connected to the first and is adapted to contain one or more toilet accessories, such as a toilet brush.



Inventors:
Wentz, Stacie (Medina, OH, US)
Hickman, Ralph (Brecksville, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/360902
Publication Date:
09/25/2003
Filing Date:
02/07/2003
Assignee:
WENTZ STACIE
HICKMAN RALPH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K17/00; B65F1/00; (IPC1-7): B65D1/36; B65D25/04; B65D57/00; B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A wastebasket apparatus comprising: a waste receptacle, including a bottom, an upstanding contiguous side wall adjoining the bottom, and an open top, the waste receptacle adapted to contain refuse; and a secondary receptacle including a storage compartment, the secondary receptacle adjoining the waste receptacle.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the secondary receptacle is disposed beneath and supports the waste receptacle.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the waste receptacle and the secondary receptacle are detachably connected.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the waste receptacle and the secondary receptacle are permanently connected.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the storage compartment is adapted to store a toilet brush.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the secondary receptacle further comprises a receiver at least partially inside the storage compartment for receiving at least a part of a toilet brush.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, the receiver comprising a sidewall, a rear wall, and an access opening into the receiver.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the receiver is dimensioned to hold a toilet brush head of the toilet brush.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the receiver is adapted to maintain the toilet brush in an upright disposition.

10. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the sidewall is cylindrical.

11. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein a portion of the sidewall extends out from the storage compartment.

12. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the receiver has a concave shape, and wherein the access opening for the toilet brush is accessible from the top.

13. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the contiguous side wall of the receptacle comprises a cylinder.

14. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the contiguous side wall of the waste receptacle comprises a plurality of planar wall sections.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the contiguous side wall and bottom portion comprise a generally spheroidal section.

16. A combination wastebasket comprising: a waste receptacle with a bottom, an upstanding contiguous side wall, an open top, and being adapted to contain refuse; a secondary receptacle including a toilet brush storage compartment, the secondary receptacle adjoined to the waste receptacle; and a toilet brush including a brush head and a handle extending from the brush head, the brush head adapted to be removably received in the storage compartment, such that when the brush head is placed in the storage compartment, the toilet brush is supported and the handle is in an upright position.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the contiguous side wall of the receptacle comprises a cylinder.

18. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the contiguous side wall of the receptacle comprises a plurality of planar wall sections.

19. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the contiguous side wall and bottom portion comprise a generally spheroidal section.

20. The apparatus of claim 16, the secondary receptacle further comprising a receiver at least partially inside the storage compartment for receiving at least a part of a toilet brush

21. The apparatus of claim 20 the receiver comprising a side wall, a rear wall, and an acess opening into the storage compartment.

22. An apparatus, comprising: a first container including a base, an upstanding side wall, and an open top, the first container being liquid-tight; and a storage compartment, including an outer shell and an inner cavity, the compartment being attached beneath the container, and including an access opening into the inner cavity.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/356,530 which was filed on Feb. 13, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to wastebaskets, and more particularly to a combination wastebasket and storage compartment to facilitate storage of useful articles near the wastebasket.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Wastebaskets are known in the art. A typical wastebasket is simply a basket with upstanding sidewalls, configured in cross section in either a curved or polygonal shape, a bottom, and an open top. A user will often place a trash bag liner inside the wastebasket to facilitate gathering and disposal of the trash once the wastebasket is full.

[0004] There have been many attempts to improve on the basic design to increase the user-friendliness of the wastebasket. It is known in a recycling wastebasket to place receptacles under a wastebasket to facilitate the convenient sorting and accommodation of items to be discarded. This aids the user to automatically sort the garbage from the recyclables before discarding either. It is further known to partition a wastebasket into two or more side by side compartments, to facilitate the separation of regular garbage from that which may be recycled. However, none of these wastebaskets have a provision for the storage of any items other than recyclable material to be discarded.

[0005] It is also known to provide a container for a toilet brush. Several proposals have been made to provide a storage apparatus for a plurality of toilet accessories, many including a toilet brush. According to one proposal, the storage apparatus is characterized by a central housing enclosing a storage compartment for several rolls of toilet paper flanked on opposite sides by compartments for storing several bars of soap on one side and for storing a toilet bowl brush on the other. A drain cleaning plunger may be concealed within the central storage housing. In another example, a toilet accessory kit is provided which includes a holder with two compartments for holding a toilet brush and a toilet plunger, respectively. A divider extends across the holder to separate the compartments from one another, and a handle extends from the divider for lifting and carrying the holder. A third example consists of a three piece storage unit, wherein there is included a base, a hollow middle cylinder, and a top cover. The middle cylinder is adapted to house a number of toilet accessories including a toilet brush, a spray can, and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 depicts one example of a wastebasket constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention.

[0007] FIG. 2 depicts a section view of the wastebasket of FIG. 1 taken along section line 2-2.

[0008] FIG. 3 depicts an exploded view of the first example shown in FIG. 1.

[0009] FIG. 4 depicts a second example of a wastebasket constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention.

[0010] FIG. 5 depicts a section view of the wastebasket of FIG. 4 taken along section line 5-5.

[0011] FIG. 6 depicts a third example of a wastebasket constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention.

[0012] FIG. 7 depicts a section view of the wastebasket of FIG. 6 taken along section line 7-7.

[0013] FIG. 8 depicts a fourth example of a wastebasket constructed in accordance with the teachings of the invention.

[0014] FIG. 9 depicts a section view of the wastebasket of FIG. 8 taken along section line 9-9.

[0015] FIG. 10 depicts an isometric view of the wastebasket of FIG. 1 and including a toilet bowl brush stored therein.

[0016] FIG. 11 depicts an isometric view of the wastebasket of FIG. 4 and including a toilet bowl brush stored therein.

[0017] FIG. 12 depicts an isometric view of the wastebasket of FIG. 6 and including a toilet bowl brush stored therein.

[0018] FIG. 13 depicts an isometric view of the wastebasket of FIG. 8 and including a toilet bowl brush stored therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] The prior art does not disclose or address the desirability of combining a wastebasket with a toilet accessory container. In each of the prior art toilet accessory containers, the advantages of keeping the accessories together, and within reach of the toilet, is described. However, it is still necessary and usual to place a trash receptacle near the toilet. Thus, in each of the prior art methods, it is necessary to not only keep the disclosed accessory container, but also a second article—the trash receptacle—near the toilet. This is undesirable because the two separate articels may be unsightly and take up too much floor space.

[0020] In even the most basic washrooms, there is a need for a minimum of a wastebasket and a toilet brush. The present disclosure is directed to a combination wastebasket and secondary receptacle for storage of articles including, for example, a toilet brush.

[0021] Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a first example of the wastebasket assembly 10. The assembly 10 has a waste receptacle 12 and a secondary receptacle 22. The waste receptacle 12 can be used with or without a liner bag (not shown). The waste receptacle 12, in one example, has a conventional cup-shaped configuration including a bottom 11, contiguous sides 13, which may be cylindrical, as shown in FIG. 1, or any other shape, and an open top 18. Other shapes and configuration of the sides 13 and bottom 11 can be used, as will be shown in other examples. In one example not shown, the contiguous sides 13 are substantially planar. The waste receptacle can have a rectangular cross section, triangular cross section, or any other cross section.

[0022] The secondary receptacle 22, in the present example, is disposed directly beneath the waste receptacle 12, and is adapted to be a base on which the waste receptacle 12 sits. The secondary receptacle 22 can include non-skid pads 15 on which the assembly 10 sits. The secondary receptacle 22 can be different that the example illustrated in FIG. 1. In the example of FIG. 2, the secondary receptacle 22 is generally cylindrical with a top cover 26. In this example, the bottom of the secondary receptacle 22 is open to facilitate molding. Depending on the configuration of the secondary receptacle 22 and to further facilitate molding, the top cover 26 can be integrally molded with the secondary receptacle, or can be a removable piece that either snaps into place, is welded to the receptacle, or is attached by any other method known in the art. Furthermore, a bottom cover (not shown) may be used. This may be integrally or removably attached like the top cover, as in other disclosed examples.

[0023] The secondary receptacle 22 further includes a receiver 17. The receiver 17 is designed to accommodate inserting or removing at least a part of a toilet brush 16 in the present example, and defines a storage compartment 14. The receiver 17 further comprises interior side walls 25 and a rear wall 27. The receiver 17 fully supports the brush 16, such that the brush handle 21 is easily accessible by the user. The cross section of interior side walls can be any shape that supports a brush 16, such as circular, elliptical, rectangular, etc. The receiver 17 and the secondary receptacle 22 can either be molded as a unitary piece, or as two pieces that are then fastened together.

[0024] In further embodiments, the receiver might not have a rear wall 27. That is, the receiver 17 would simply be an interior tube defined by interior side walls 25. In another embodiment, the receiver might simply be a hole in the side of the secondary receptacle 22. In either case, the storage compartment 14 can be the entire interior cavity of the secondary receptacle 22 and can serve to support the brush 16. Furthermore, venting may be added to the side walls 25 and/or the rear wall 27 to aid in the evaporation of moisture.

[0025] The toilet brush 16 is comprised of a brush head 20 and a brush handle 21. The handle 21 can be designed so that it becomes oriented in a desired manner after the brush head 20 is inserted into the receiver 17. In the present example, the brush handle 21 is held in an upright position, with the handle 21 extending slightly away from a wall 13 of the waste receptacle 12. In another example, which is not shown, the handle 21 may be against the wall 13, or further, a snap-in feature may be designed on the wall 13 such that the handle 21 snaps into a complimentary portion or recessed portion of the wall 13. In a still further example, the handle 21 does not have to be held upright at all. In certain situations, it might be preferable for the handle to be disposed at an angle to the upright position, left, right, or back, or even laying on its side.

[0026] The waste receptacle 12 and the secondary receptacle 22 can be attached by any suitable means. In the present example, the receptacle 12 and secondary receptacle 22 are detachably connected by an interference ‘snap-in’ fit. This can best be seen in FIG. 3. In further examples, the waste receptacle 12 could be threaded at its base, with the secondary receptacle 22 having complementary internal threads. Detaching the waste receptacle 12 from the secondary receptacle 22 facilitates emptying of the waste receptacle 12, as the user need lift only the waste receptacle 12 to easily empty it. Conversely, it may also be advantageous for some applications to have the waste receptacle 12 and the secondary receptacle 22 either permanently attached or manufactured as one unitary piece for ease of manufacture and cost effectiveness.

[0027] The waste receptacle 12 can further include a pair of handles 24. The handles 24 are both useful aesthetically and for grasping the wastebasket assembly 10. This aids the user when he or she removes the waste receptacle 12 from the secondary receptacle 22, and when the user dumps the contents out of the waste receptacle 12.

[0028] FIG. 3 depicts the wastebasket assembly 10 in an exploded view. Here, the waste receptacle 12 is detached from the secondary receptacle 22 The receptacle 12 and the secondary receptacle 22 have complementary lips 31 and 32 which are snap fit together to detachably connect the receptacles.

[0029] The secondary receptacle 22 may further include a door (not shown) instead of or in addition to an opening which allows access to the storage compartment 14. The compartment 14 may store any number of articles, including but not limited to bathroom accessories such as sponges, soap, toilet paper, magazines and the like. Because the assembly may be placed near a toilet, it is possible that the end user may store articles related to either use of or cleaning of the toilet itself. However, the user may use the secondary receptacle 22 to store any article, which may be completely unrelated to the toilet, such as ant poison or contact lens solution. If the user decides to place the wastebasket assembly 10 in a different location, such as a bedroom, the user may place other items in the compartment, such as children's books, toys, and the like.

[0030] The wastebasket assembly 10 may be manufactured out of any suitable material such as metal, wood, or molded plastic, for example. By manufacturing the assembly 10 in any of several ways, such as injection molding, the waste receptacle 12 can be made impervious to water, thus ensuring that none of the contents of the waste receptacle 12 seep into the secondary receptacle 22.

[0031] FIGS. 4 and 5 disclose a second example of a waste basket assembly 40. As previously mentioned, it is clear that assembly 40 can take many different shapes and sizes and still be within the scope of the invention. The assembly comprises a waste receptacle 42 and a secondary receptacle 44 that can be snap fit together as previously disclosed, or by any other method known in the art. The assembly 40 is in a stylish rounded or spheroidal configuration, with a plurality of support feet 41. A receiver 47 in this example protrudes from a secondary receptacle 44 and defines a storage compartment 54. The receiver 47 comprises external side walls 43, interior side walls 49 extending from and contiguous with the external side walls 43 and a back wall 45. The external side walls 43 protrude from the secondary receptacle 44 and define an opening 48 of the storage compartment 54. In this example, the opening 48 is approximately perpendicular to the ground. The external side walls 43 aid in supporting a toilet brush 46 and help to guide the toilet brush 46 into the storage compartment 54 of the receiver 47.

[0032] FIGS. 6 and 7 depict a third example of a wastebasket assembly 60. The assembly 60 includes a secondary receptacle 61 and a waste receptacle 62. The secondary receptacle 61, positioned under a waste receptacle 62, can be fastened to the waste receptacle 62 via a snap fit as previously disclosed and shown in the figures, or any other releaseable means. The secondary receptacle also includes a receiver 67, which defines a storage compartment 64, into which a toilet brush (not shown) may be inserted. In this example, the receiver 67 also comprises an interior piece 65, and an exterior piece 63 that defines a mouth 68 of the storage compartment 64. However, in contrast to the previous example, in this example the mouth 68 opens upward, such that the mouth 68 is generally parallel to the ground. This makes the exterior piece 63 somewhat in the shape of a bowl, as can be seen in FIG. 6. Thus, instead of inserting a toilet brush into the storage compartment 64 from the side as in previous examples, it is first placed in the receiver 67 from the top downward.

[0033] In the illustrated example, the interior piece 65 of the receiver 67 extends into the secondary receptacle 61 and forms the storage compartment 64. However, it is possible that no interior piece 65 exists, and that the entire receiver 67 is comprised of an exterior piece 63 in the shape of a dish. Thus, in such an example, when the toilet brush is placed in the receiver 67, the entire storage compartment and toilet brush would be outside of the secondary receptacle 64.

[0034] FIGS. 8 and 9 depict a fourth example of a wastebasket assembly 80 that also comprises a waste receptacle 82 and a secondary receptacle 84. The assembly 80 further includes a receiver 87 to receive a toilet brush (not shown). In the previous embodiments, the toilet brush is designed to be complementary to the receiver and the storage compartment. That is, the toilet brush is designed for a specific fit and support from the receiver. However, in this example, receiver 87 is comparatively much larger than those disclosed in previous embodiments. This creates a more generic opening 88 and receiver 87, so that a wide range of toilet brushes may be supported by the receiver 87. Thus, the user is not limited to a toilet brush that he or she purchased with the wastebasket assembly 80, as might be more suitable in one or more of the previous examples. If the brush wears out, he or she can replace it with any of a wide range of brushes.

[0035] In a further example of the invention (not shown), the waste receptacle is liquid-tight, and can be used to house a liquid, such as soapy water. In this example the wastebasket assembly can be advantageously used as a bucket and a cleaning supply storage compartment to help in washing and cleaning articles. Again, the storage compartment adjoins the waste receptacle. Here, however, the storage compartment may be used to store cleaning items such as a sponge, soap, car polish etc.

[0036] In a further example (not shown) of the wastebasket assembly, the waste receptacle can be disposed in a side-by-side fashion with the compartment, and/or vents may be added in the sides of the receiver and/or storage compartment to facilitate the evaporation of moisture on the brush head.

[0037] The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.