Title:
Collapsible handheld holder for bags
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A trash bag holder comprising a collapsible frame having a plurality of elongated support members flexibly connected end-to-end. A trash bag is secured to the frame by the use of a plurality of clips mounted on the frame. The frame engages the trash bag in a manner which holds the mouth of the trash bag open when the frame is in a ready-to-use configuration. The frame is maintained in the ready-to-use configuration by a brace pivotally mounted to one of the support members and releasably engaged to a second support member. To collapse the frame, the brace is disengaged from the second support member thereby allowing the support members to be collapsed into a convenient and compact size for transport or storage. A handle is attached to one of the support members to allow a person to maneuver the trash bag holder into any desirable position. The support members are optionally adjustable in length to allow for the use of trash bags of varying sizes.



Inventors:
Passage, Christopher (Park City, UT, US)
Application Number:
10/409567
Publication Date:
10/07/2004
Filing Date:
04/07/2003
Assignee:
PASSAGE CHRISTOPHER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/95
International Classes:
B65B67/12; B65F1/14; (IPC1-7): B65B67/12; B65B67/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WOOD, KIMBERLY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GRANT R CLAYTON (SANDY, UT, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A trash bag holder comprising: a collapsible frame, the frame defining an opening for filling a trash bag when in the ready-to-use position; a holding means for allowing a person to support the frame; and a plurality of securing means for temporarily attaching the trash bag to the frame whereby the trash bag can be filled through the opening defined by the frame.

2. The trash bag holder of claim 1 wherein the collapsible frame is comprised of a plurality of elongated support members flexibly joined end-to-end thereby defining the opening for filling the trash bag.

3. The trash bag holder of claim 2 wherein the support members are joined using a connecting means for flexibly joining the support members.

4. The trash bag holder of claim 3 wherein the connecting means is a plurality of hinges.

5. The trash bag holder of claim 3 wherein one or more of the support members further comprise an adjustment means for varying the length of the support member.

6. The trash bag holder of claim 5 wherein at least two of the support members comprise an adjustment means.

7. The trash bag holder of claim 5 wherein all four of the support members comprise an adjustment means.

8. The trash bag holder of claim 1 wherein the frame is maintained in the ready-to-use configuration by a brace.

9. The trash bag holder of claim 8 wherein the brace is pivotally mounted to one of the support members and is held in a bracing position by a locking means for securing the brace.

10. The trash bag holder of claim 9 wherein the locking means comprises a hook and a retractable pin.

11. The trash bag holder of claim 1 wherein the securing means is one or more clips.

12. A trash bag holder comprising: a frame comprising four support members flexibly connected end-to-end by four hinges, said frame capable of being in a first position and a second position, the first position being rectangular thereby forming an enclosed opening and the second position being a collapsed configuration; a handle extending outwardly from one of the support members and two clips extending from each of the three other support members whereby a mouth of a trash bag can be attached to the frame whereby the trash bag can be filled through the enclosed opening when the frame is in the first position; and a brace having a first end and a second end, said brace pivotally mounted at the first end to one of the support members, said brace having a fastener adapted to the second end, said fastener adapted to lock onto a docking pin extending from the second support member.

13. The trash bag holder of claim 12 wherein one or more of the support members each comprise an adjusting means for varying the length of the respective support member.

14. The trash bag holder of claim 13 wherein at least two of the support members each comprise an adjusting means for varying the length of the respective support member.

15. The trash bag holder of claim 13 wherein all of the support members each comprise an adjusting means for varying the length of the respective support member.

16. A trash bag holder comprising: a frame, said frame comprising two arms, each arm having a proximal end and a distal end, the arms being pivotally mounted together near the proximal ends of each of the arms, the distal ends of each of the arms extending outwardly to define an opening between the arms; a resilient means disposed between the two arms, said resilient means providing an outward force on the arms whereby a trash bag is held in place and open; and a handle attached to one of the arms whereby a person can support the trash bag holder in a useful orientation when collecting trash.

17. The trash bag holder of claim 16 wherein each of the arms further comprises an adjusting means for varying the length of the respective arm.

18. The trash bag holder of claim 17 further comprising a plurality of clips to secure the trash bag to the arms.

19. A collapsible trash bag holder comprising a plurality of support members held in a ready-to-use configuration by a brace, said holder further comprising: means for flexibly joining the support members; means for securing the brace in a bracing position; means for holding the frame; and means for securing the trash bag to the frame such that the trash bag is maintained in an open position when the support members are in the ready-to-use configuration.

20. The collapsible trash bag holder of claim 19 further comprising a means for varying the length of one or more of the support members.

21. A method of installing a trash bag on a trash bag holder, said method comprising the steps of: providing a trash bag holder, the trash bag holder having a collapsible frame; collapsing the frame of the trash bag holder; installing the trash bag onto the collapsed frame of the trash bag holder; and opening the frame of the trash bag holder to a ready-to-use position such that the trash bag can be filled by passing material through the frame of the trash bag holder.

22. The method of claim 21 further comprising the step of engaging a brace to maintain the frame of the trash bag holder in the ready-to-use position.

23. The method of claim 22 wherein the brace is pivotally mounted to a support member of the frame.

24. The method of claim 21 further comprising the step of utilizing legs extending from the trash bag holder to support the trash bag holder in a stationary position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. The Field of the Invention

[0004] The present invention relates generally to trash bag holders, and more particularly, but not necessarily entirely, to trash bag holders having a support frame.

[0005] 2. Description of Related Art

[0006] Filling a trash bag with leaves, grass or other refuse can prove challenging for most people, especially when using a rake, shovel or other tool. Trash bags, by their very nature, are not self supporting and require two hands or other structure to hold them open. A person working alone simply does not have enough hands to go around, i.e., to hold the bag open and to fill with refuse at the same time. Laying the trash bag on the ground provides no help in that the bag opening collapses shut. In the end, the person is left holding the bag with one hand while using the other hand to scoop the trash inside. This proves extremely inefficient, especially with leaves or other small items. When subjected to windy conditions, the trash bag tends to flail in the wind making the process of filling it with trash even more difficult.

[0007] Even when a second person assists in holding the bag open, invariably the trash spills out onto the ground when the trash bag is being filled. One reason is that even using two hands the trash bag opening cannot be fully exploited. In other words, a person cannot hold the trash bag in a manner to take full advantage of the opening. At most, all a person can do is hold the bag open by pulling apart his or her two hands while holding onto the bag opening. Invariably, this procedure creates a narrow opening and does not maximize the full width of the trash bag opening. Diverse designs have been employed to address the some of the problems indicated above.

[0008] In one example of a previously available trash bag holder, it comprises a frame having four walls. The frame is completely hollow there through and has an engaging flap to facilitate the sweeping or raking of trash through the frame and into the trash bag. Two of the walls are provided with a bore whereby the trash bag is secured to the frame. Disadvantageously, the frame is not collapsible.

[0009] In another example of a previously available trash bag holder, it includes a rectangular support frame having a peripheral lip that extends from the frame. The lip facilitates sweeping trash into the bag. An adjustable handle extends outwardly from the frame. The handle may be used to support the frame from a wall or to hold the frame in position to sweep in trash. Again, one problem with this device is that the frame does not appear to be readily collapsible.

[0010] Other previously available trash bag holders do provide a collapsible frame. Disadvantageously, the device is collapsible by disassembly into a plurality of pieces.

[0011] While the aforementioned devices described above are useful for the purposes for which they were designed, they fail to provide an efficient and readily usable collapsible handheld trash bag holder. The previously available devices are thus characterized by several disadvantages that are addressed by the present invention. For example, the previously available devices are inconvenient to store and carry. When the previously available devices are capable of being collapsed, it does so by disassembly into several pieces, which also renders the device difficult to carry. Also, the previously available devices fail to provide a way to adjust frames to fit different sized trash bags. The present invention minimizes, and in some aspects eliminates, the above-mentioned failures, and other problems, by utilizing the methods and structural features described herein.

[0012] The features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the description which follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by the practice of the invention without undue experimentation. The features and advantages of the invention may be realized and obtained by means of the instruments and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the subsequent detailed description presented in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a view of a first embodiment of the present invention in a ready-to-use configuration with a disposable trash bag installed thereon;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a distinct view of the first embodiment of the present invention represented in FIG. 1, but without the trash bag installed;

[0016] FIG. 2A is a fragmentary view of a brace represented in FIGS. 1 and 2;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a top view of the first embodiment of the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a side view of a support member represented in FIGS. 1-3;

[0019] FIG. 5 is a top view of the first embodiment in a collapsed configuration;

[0020] FIG. 6 is a top view of a second embodiment of the present invention ready for installation of a trash bag;

[0021] FIG. 7 is a top view of a third embodiment of the present invention ready for installation of a trash bag;

[0022] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a support member of the third embodiment represented in FIG. 7;

[0023] FIGS. 9, 10 &11, respectively, each partially illustrate a fourth, fifth and sixth embodiments of the present invention each including a different brace structure;

[0024] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a seventh embodiment of the present invention;

[0025] FIG. 13 is a flow chart showing the steps carried out in accordance with one illustrative embodiment of the present invention to define a component.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

[0026] For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the inventive principles unitized in accordance with the present invention, reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Any alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and any additional applications of the principles of the invention as illustrated herein, which would normally occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention claimed.

[0027] It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[0028] In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below. As used herein, “comprising,” “including,” “containing,” “characterized by,” and grammatical equivalents thereof are inclusive or open-ended terms that do not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps.

[0029] Referring now to FIG. 1, an exemplary apparatus, generally indicated at 100, of the present invention is shown in a first embodiment in a ready-to-use configuration. The apparatus 100 is comprised of a frame, generally indicated at 106. The frame 106 is comprised of four generally elongated support members 107 arranged end-to-end thereby forming a rectangular opening. The length of each of the support members 107 is determined by the size of trash bag, one exemplary trash bag shown at 110, desired to be used as trash bags are known to be commercially available in several different sizes. For example, trash bags are known to come in sizes from 4 gallons to 39 gallons, with 33 gallons being the “standard” sized trash bag. Typically, the length of each of the support members 107 should be approximately one-fourth of the length of the perimeter of the opening of a trash bag 110. Thus, the combined length of the four support members 107 is approximately the same as the perimeter of the trash bag opening. For example, the length of each of the support members 107 may be approximately between about 12 inches and about 20 inches, but preferably about 15.5 inches.

[0030] The support members 107 may be constructed from wood, plastic, metal or any other suitable material having sufficient strength as known to those skilled in the art. It is desirable that the support members be constructed of a materials being light weight.

[0031] As mentioned described briefly above, each of the support members 107 is connected to two of the other support members 107 at each end, typically by a hinge 104. Thus, the embodiment represented in FIG. 1 utilizes four hinges 104 to interconnect the four support members 107. Each of the exemplary hinges 104 comprises two brackets and a pin, as is well known in the art. Each of the brackets is secured to one of the support members 107 using structures well known to those skilled in the art. The pin is utilized to connect the brackets and hence two of the support members 107 together in a pivoting manner.

[0032] The hinges 104 allow the frame 106 to be collapsed into a convenient configuration for storage, as shown in FIG. 5, when the apparatus 100 is not being used. In addition, the hinges 104 also allow the frame 106 to be collapsed to facilitate the installation of the trash bag 110. In the collapsed position the trash bag is more easily installed onto the frame 106. It will be appreciated that when collapsed, desirably, there is no disassembly required. In the collapsed configuration, the apparatus 100 is much more manageable and easier to store and transport. Further, in order to collapse the frame 106, the trash bag 110 is not required to be removed from the frame 106 (but, to improve the clarity of the drawing, the trash bag 110 is not represented in FIG. 5). In fact, it will be noted that the frame 106 has the same perimeter in the collapsed configuration as in the ready-to-use configuration. Moreover, when the frame 106 is in the collapsed configuration, the trash bag 110 is closed thereby substantially reducing the chance of material contained within the trash bag, or odor contained within the trash bag, from escaping. Thus, the apparatus 100 of the present invention provides the benefit of easy closure of the trash bag 110 to prevent escape of material contained therein, by assuming a collapsed configuration, and ready access to the interior of the trash bag whenever desired by the user. It is also within the scope of the present invention to incorporate a structure to hold the apparatus 100 in a collapsed configuration and those skilled in the art can readily provide a variety of structures to perform the described function.

[0033] It will be appreciated that the hinge 104 disclosed herein is merely one example of a means for flexibly joining the support members 107, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for flexibly joining the support members 107 which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for flexibly joining the support members 107, including those structures, apparatus or systems for flexibly joining the support members 107 which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Any structures which function the same as, or equivalently to, the described means for flexibly joining the support members falls within the scope of this element.

[0034] Referring again to FIG. 1, the support members 107 are maintained in the ready-to-use configuration by a brace 114, the brace 114 having a first and second end. The brace 114 is pivotally attached to one of the support members 107 by a pivot pin 112. The pivot pin 112 is typically a screw pivotally securing the brace 114 through a bore in the first end of the brace 114 and into the support member 107. The pivot pin 112 thereby allows the brace 114 to be pivoted into and out of the bracing position. The second end of the brace 114 is capable of releasably engaging a docking pin 116 on an adjacent support member 107 by a fastener 115 integrated into the second end of the brace 114. When the fastener 115 is engaged with the docking pin 116, the brace 114 prevents the frame 106 from being collapsed. In order to collapse the frame 106 to the configuration shown in FIG. 5, the fastener 115 is disengaged from the docking pin 116 and the brace 114 is pivoted away from the docking pin 116.

[0035] As shown best in FIG. 2A, the exemplary fastener 115 is comprised of a hook 118 having a retractable pin 120 resiliently maintained in a closed position. To engage the docking pin 116, the retractable pin 120 is moved to an open position thereby allowing the docking pin 116 to be engaged by the hook 118. The retractable pin 120 is then allowed to return to the closed position. With the retractable pin 120 in the closed position, the docking pin 116 is securely within the hook 118.

[0036] It will be appreciated that the fastener 115 and docking pin 116 are merely one example of a means for securing the brace 114, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for fastening the brace which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for securing the brace 114, including those structures, apparatus or systems for securing the brace which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Anything which functions the same as, or equivalently to, a means for securing the brace falls within the scope of the present invention.

[0037] For example, represented in FIGS. 9, 10 &11, respectively, are partially illustrated fourth, fifth and sixth embodiments of the present invention each including a different brace structure and alternative structures for securing the brace. FIG. 9 shows a brace 114A secured using a pull pin 130 inserted through a bore 131 in the brace 114A and into the support member 107. The pull pin 130 has a ring 130A to assist in removing the pull pin 130 and an elongated shaft having a spring loaded pin 130B disposed therein. The spring loaded pin 130B holds the pull pin 130 in place when inserted into the support member 107.

[0038] FIG. 10 shows a brace 114B having a rounded end 132 held by a catch 134 mounted on the support member 107. The brace 114B is swung into position, i.e., into the catch 134 as shown by arrow 133. The brace 114B is held in place by the force between the catch 134 and the brace 114B.

[0039] FIG. 11 shows a brace 114C having an end adapted to be releasably secured into a buckle 138 mounted on the support member 107. The brace 114C is released from the buckle 138 by exerting a force, i.e., squeezing, as shown by the arrows 139.

[0040] Referring again to FIG. 1, mounted on one of the support members 107 is a handle 102. The handle 102 is adapted to be grasped by a hand of a person to hold the frame 106. Through the use of the handle 102, the person can maintain the frame 106 in any desirable position during the trash gathering process. The handle 102 can be attached to the frame 106 by any number of structures known to persons skilled in the art. For example, the handle 106 can be attached by screws, bolts, glue or may be integrated in as one piece into the frame 106, or more particularly, one of the support members 107.

[0041] It will be appreciated that the handle 102 is merely one example of a means for holding the frame 106, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for holding the frame 106 which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for holding the frame 106, including those structures, apparatus or systems for holding the frame 106 which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Any structure which functions the same as, or equivalently to, the described means for holding the frame falls within the scope of this element.

[0042] As shown in FIG. 1, and more particularly in FIG. 4, mounted on an outer surface 109 of all of the support members 107 except the support member 107 receiving the handle 102 are two clips 108. The clips 108 are adapted to receive the trash bag 110 and hold the trash bag 110 in close proximity to the frame 106. The clips 108 operate in conjunction with the clips 108 on the other support members 107 in a manner which will now be explained. To install a trash bag 110, the opening of the trash bag 110 is pulled over the clips 108. The illustrated shape of the clips 108 prevents the trash bag 110 from slipping off of the frame 106. While the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1 does not have clips 108 on the support member 107 to which the handle 102 is attached, it is nevertheless within the scope of this invention to have the clips 108 on that particular support member 107. No clips 108 are provided on the support member 107 with the handle 102 because the clips 108 on the other support members 107 are usually sufficient to support the weight of the trash bag 110 and its contents. However, if it is anticipated that the trash bag 110 will be filled with overtly heavy material, then the additional clips 108 on the support member 107 having the handle 102 may be necessary.

[0043] It will be appreciated that the clips 108 disclosed herein are merely one example of a means for securing the trash bag 110 to the frame 106, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for securing the trash bag 110 which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for securing the trash bag 110 to the frame 106, including those structures, apparatus or systems for securing the trash bag 110 to the frame 106 which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Any structure which functions the same as, or equivalently to, the described means for securing the trash bag 110 to the frame 106 falls within the scope of this element.

[0044] Reference will now be made to FIGS. 2 and 3 which both show different views of the first embodiment of the present invention represented in FIG. 1, using like reference numerals as employed above. In particular, FIG. 2 shows the apparatus 100 in a perspective view without the trash bag installed. FIG. 3 provides a top view of the apparatus 100.

[0045] Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown the apparatus 100 in its collapsed configuration, as briefly described above. It will be appreciated that in the collapsed configuration, the apparatus 100 is very conveniently carried and stored. Even with the apparatus 100 in its collapsed configuration, the handle 102 can be utilized by a person to move the apparatus 100 from place to place. Desirably, the trash bag 110 (see FIG. 1) remains secured to the apparatus 100 in the collapsed configuration and the trash bag 110 is substantially closed so that the contents are held therein.

[0046] Referring next to FIG. 6, a second embodiment of the present invention is represented. As shown in FIG. 6, there is shown a frame, generally indicated at 106A, having two extendable support members 122. The extendable support members 122 allow for different sized trash bags (not shown) to be readily utilized. The extendable support members 122 are positioned on opposing sides of the frame 106A and can be adjusted as shown by the arrow 123.

[0047] Referring next to FIG. 7, a third embodiment of the present invention is represented. The third embodiment of the present invention includes a frame, generally indicated at 106B, which comprises four extendable support members 122 which can be adjusted as shown by the arrows 125. It will be appreciated that four extendable support members 122 allow for greater variation in trash bag (not shown) sizes.

[0048] A single extendable support member 122 is shown in greater detail in the perspective view of FIG. 8. Each of the extendable support members 122 comprises a first section and a second section which are slidably engaged together. When in the desired position, the first section and second section are locked in position by a spring loaded pin 124 connected to the first section and extending through one of a plurality of bores 126 in the second section. The length of each of the extendable support members 122 can be varied by selecting a different bore in the second section as shown by the arrow 127. Those skilled in the art can readily devise a number of different structures which function in an equivalent manner to the described support members 122 for incorporation into embodiments of the present invention.

[0049] It will be appreciated, however, that the structure and apparatus disclosed herein for an extendable support member 122 is merely one example of a means for varying the length of a support member, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for varying the length of a support member which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for varying the length of a support member, including those structures, apparatus or systems for varying the length of a support member which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Any structure which functions the same as, or equivalently to, the described means for varying the length of a support member falls within the scope of this element.

[0050] Reference will next be made to FIG. 12. A seventh embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 12 which comprises a frame, generally indicated at 106C, having two extendable arms 142 that are pivotally connected to each other. Each of the extendable arms 142 comprises two sections that are slidably engaged with each other. One of the sections comprises a plurality of bores 143 adapted to receive a pin 144 resiliently secured to the other piece by a spring. The length of each of the extendable arms 142 is adjusted by positioning the pin 144 in one of the plurality of bores 143 to achieve the desired length. With the pin 144 positioned through one of the bores 143, the length of the extendable arm 142 is selectably fixed.

[0051] It will be appreciated that the structure and apparatus disclosed herein for extendable arms 142 is merely one example of a means for varying the length of an arm 142, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for varying the length of an arm 142 which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for varying the length of arm 142, including those structures, apparatus or systems for varying the length of an arm 142 which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Any structure which functions the same as, or equivalently to, the described means for varying the length of an arm 142 falls within the scope of this element.

[0052] As mentioned above, the extendable arms 142 are pivotally joined by a pin 144 extending through each of the extendable arms 142. Typically, the extendable arms 142 are joined by the pin 144 near one of the ends thereby allowing the distal ends to open in a fashion similar to a pair of scissors. The open end of the extendable arms 142 are held apart by a spring 146.

[0053] A trash bag 110 is secured to the frame 106C by a plurality of clips 148. The clips 148 are slightly resilient and shaped to tightly fit over the frame 106C. The open end of the trash bag 110 is draped over the frame 106C and the clips 148 are then secured over the trash bag 110 to the frame 106C. Further securing the trash bag 110 to the frame 106C are the ends of the extendable arms 142. In addition, the overhanging end 150 of one of the extendable arms 142 is also used to support the trash bag 110. The tension supplied by the spring 146 functions to maintain the trash bag 110 in place over the extendable arms 142.

[0054] To install a trash bag on the embodiment represented in FIG. 12, the extendable arms 142 are positioned in the interior of the trash bag 110 slightly compressed together. When released, the spring 146 serves to separate the extendable arms 142 thereby creating the tension to assist in holding the trash bag 110 in place.

[0055] It will be appreciated that the spring 146 disclosed herein is a means for resiliently separating the extendable arms 142, and it should be appreciated that any structure, apparatus or system for resiliently separating the extendable arms 142 which performs functions the same as, or equivalent to, those disclosed herein are intended to fall within the scope of a means for resiliently separating the extendable arms 142, including those structures, apparatus or systems for resiliently separating the extendable arms 142 which are presently known, or which may become available in the future. Any structure which functions the same as, or equivalently to, the described means for resiliently separating the extendable arms 142 falls within the scope of this element.

[0056] Still referring to FIG. 12, a handle 140 is secured to one of the extendable arms 142 near the pin 144. The handle 140 allows a person to maneuver the open end to the desired position to facilitate the trash gathering process.

[0057] Reference will now be made to the exemplary flow diagram of FIG. 13. In one illustrative embodiment of the present invention, a method to install and use a trash bag on a collapsible frame comprises the step of collapsing the frame (step 152) and installing the trash bag on the frame (step 154). Once the bag is installed, the frame is opened to a ready-to-use position (step 156), preferably with a brace locked into position, and can be filled with trash (step 158).

[0058] It should be noted that the present invention is primarily designed to facilitate the collection of trash or other refuse. However, it is within the scope of the present invention, that other more valuable items or material be collected. For example, the present invention may be used to collect recyclable material.

[0059] Those having ordinary skill in the relevant art will appreciate the advantages provided by the features of the present invention. For example, it is a feature of the present invention to provide a trash bag holder having a collapsible frame. The collapsible frame allows for convenient storage and allows for easy trash bag installation. Another feature of the present invention is to provide a trash bag holder having a handle to conveniently hold and carry the invention from place to place. In a separate embodiment the trash bag holder can comprise a plurality of legs that allows the invention to be used in a stationary position. The legs will extend from the frame to the ground. Typically, three or more legs are used.

[0060] It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the application of the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and the appended claims are intended to cover such modifications and arrangements. Thus, while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and described above with particularity and detail, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications, including, but not limited to, variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use may be made without departing from the principles and concepts set forth herein.