Title:
Receptacle for trash
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable receptacle for trash. The receptacle is preferably in the shape of a truncated cone. The receptacle includes a self-supporting container having a bottom opening and an opening on the top. The top opening is of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash therethrough. Sidewalls are provided between the bottom and top, the sidewalls having an interior surface and an exterior surface. A flexible bag, preferably made of plastic, is mounted within the container. The bag has an opening therein which is fixedly mounted within the container near the top of the container. The bag is thus mounted in the container such that the bag receives all of the trash that passes through the top opening. In use, trash is pushed through the top opening into the bag to be retained therein and when filled access to the bottom of the bag may be obtained through the bottom of the container. The bag is then twisted to securely entrap the trash therein for subsequent sanitary disposal of the complete receptacle. Preferably the receptacle is configured in a manner that permits the stacking of one receptacle on the other or collapsible along the vertical axis or perpendicular thereto for convenient stacking and efficient packaging, storage and sales.



Inventors:
Bastiani, Adam (Central Valley, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/039495
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
01/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael E. Zall (Suffern, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disposable receptacle for trash comprising: a self supporting container having: a bottom with a bottom opening therein, a top with a top opening therein, the top opening of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash therethrough, sidewalls between the bottom and top, the sidewalls having an interior surface and an exterior surface; and a flexible bag mounted within the container, the bag having a bag opening therein, the bag opening fixedly mounted within the container near the top of the container to mount the bag in the container and enable the bag to receive all the trash that passes through the top opening; whereby the trash may be pushed through the top opening into the bag to be retained therein and when filled access to the bag may be obtained through the bottom opening to thereby twist the bag to securely entrap the trash therein for subsequent disposal of the receptacle.

2. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the top is removably mounted to the sidewalls.

3. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the bag opening is fixedly mounted to the sidewalls of the container near the top of the container.

4. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the bag opening is fixedly mounted at a juncture of the top and sidewalls of the container.

5. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein interior sidewalls of a first receptacle slidably mates with the exterior sidewalls of a second receptacle, whereby the first receptacle is stackable on top of the second receptacle.

6. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the bag is a plastic bag.

7. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the container is a plastic or cardboard container.

8. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the container is collapsible along a vertical axis of the container.

9. The disposable receptacle of claim 1, wherein the container is collapsible along an axis perpendicular to a vertical axis of the container.

10. A disposable receptacle for trash that is stackable with another identical receptacle comprising: a self supporting container having an interior and exterior configuration: a bottom with a bottom opening therein, a top with a top opening therein, the top opening of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash therethrough, sidewalls between the bottom and top, the sidewalls forming an interior configuration and an exterior configuration, wherein the interior configuration of one receptacle mates with the exterior configuration of another receptacle to permit the stacking of one receptacle onto another; and a flexible bag mounted within the container, the bag having a bag opening therein, the bag opening fixedly mounted within the container near the top of the container to mount the bag in the container and enable the bag to receive all the trash that passes through the top opening; whereby the trash may be pushed through the top opening into the bag to be retained therein and when filled access to the bag may be obtained through the bottom opening to thereby twist the bag to securely entrap the trash therein for subsequent disposal of the receptacle.

11. A truncated conical disposable receptacle for trash that is stackable with another identical receptacle comprising: a conical self supporting container having: a circular bottom forming a bottom opening of a first diameter, a circular top of a second diameter, with a top opening therein, the top opening of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash therethrough, the first diameter being greater than the second diameter, sidewalls between the top and bottom, the sidewalls having an interior surface and an exterior surface, wherein the interior surface of one receptacle mates with the exterior surface of another receptacle to permit the stacking of one receptacle onto another; and a flexible bag mounted within the container, the bag having a bag opening therein, the bag opening fixedly mounted within the container near the top of the container to mount the bag in the container and enable the bag to receive all the trash that passes through the top opening; whereby the trash may be pushed through the top opening into the bag to be retained therein and when filled access to the bag may be obtained through the bottom opening to thereby twist the bag to securely entrap the trash therein for subsequent disposal of the receptacle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a receptacle for trash, and in particular a disposable tabletop receptacle for trash that can be inexpensively produced and packaged and subsequently used by restaurants, cafeterias and in the home.

2. Description of the Related Art

An attractive public restaurant is characterized by an appearance of neatness and cleanliness. This is difficult to maintain when dining tables quickly become cluttered with various paper and plastic items. Such items consist of paper envelopes for sugar, waxed paper covers for wafers, paper covers for drinking straws, waxed paper covers for butter pats, plastic jelly containers, tooth picks used with hors d'oeuvres,—not to mention trash associated with smoking, such as plastic cigar covers and paper cigar bands, empty match covers and tops of cigarette packages. Additionally, due to recent trends in marketing and packaging, many food items and condiments are brought to the table in the form of prepackaged, individual servings, e.g., sugar, sweetener, salt, pepper, butter, jelly, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, tartar sauce, salad dressings, syrup, honey, crackers and the like. Once the contents of the single serving packages have been dispensed, the problem arises as to what to do with the empty, throw-away packages.

In restaurants and other establishments and homes, the convenient disposition of small trash papers such as these is a problem. Thus the papers are scattered about on the table, thereby creating a disorderly appearance. Additionally, the table which is littered by small papers requires increased time by restaurant or domestic personnel to clean.

It is well known to most homemakers that, while preparing foods in a kitchen small particles of refuse are frequently needed to be discarded, such as when peeling a vegetable, trimming fat from a meat, or discarding a foil wrapper from a stick of butter. Often this refuse item is too small to warrant the need of reaching down to the under counter refuse receptacle each time, and therefore, it temporarily accumulates in the sink corner, or is dropped in an empty bag on the counter for disposal afterwards. This can be messy, so that this situation is, accordingly, in need of an improvement.

As a consequence of the above, it is usual during the course of a meal in a restaurant or other food-serving establishment to accumulate a considerable amount of such trash. The usual practice is to collect the empty packages on the edge of your plate, on the table adjacent your plate, on a butter plate or in an ashtray (if present). All of these solutions are generally unsatisfactory, annoying and unsightly. A small substantially flat butter plate is not well suited for this purpose. An ashtray is also generally too small, and if filled with paper, plastic or foil packaging, it can no longer be used for its intended purpose.

This invention provides a convenient trash receptacle in which diners and homemakers can dispose of these pieces of paper and plastic as they appear so as to keep them out of sight, and when filled, can be easily and sanitarily disposed of.

The present invention is directed to a container intended for and designed for this very purpose. The container can be readily disposed of when filled or when the customer leaves, keeps the dining table free of unsightly wrappings and the like, and is inexpensive.

Disposable receptacles for trash for use on tables or counters are known, see for example:

U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,628,396, 5,839,590 and D 422,027 to Weiner describe a combined waste receptacle and advertising display formed in a pyramidal shape from a single piece of folded material. Openings in the pyramid walls provide access to a substantially enclosed waste receiving cavity. Advertising information and/or articles may be applied or attached to the remaining surface area of the walls.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,000,334 to Miller et al. describes a table receptacle for use in a restaurant or banquet hall. The receptacle has a dish body and a refuse retention cap. The retention cap adjoins the dish body and is separable from it and has an opening therein. Paper refuse from unwrapped packages containing complements to a meal may be pushed through the opening into an interior of the receptacle and retained therein by the retention cap. The receptacle with its refuse contents may be disposed of as a unit.

German-DE 3945171 A1 to Fruehauf describes a disposable, collapsible/expandable waste container made of paper cardboard or plastic.

German DE 3321603 A1 to Barkey describes a disposable container that is expandable with accordion folds.

Other references of interest are U.S. Pat. No. 6,152,047 to MacNamara, U.S. Pat. No. 5,036,998 to Dunn D467,695 to Paceli et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,437,575 to Hahn, D422,027 to Weiner, U.S. Pat. No. 4,166,572 to Leeds, D412,232 to Anderson, U.S. Pat. No. 3,944,110 to Willis, D361,416 to Szekely, D285,849 to Hughes, D233,819 to Biderman, D208,590 to Wright, Swiss CH 675351 A5 to Badertsche and French FR 2724551 A1 to Chaborel

The invention described and claimed herein is directed to an easy to use, inexpensive, disposable trash receptacle for use on dining tables in public restaurants, or at home for the easy and sanitary disposal of paper, plastic and small food items, which would otherwise tend to clutter the table top in an unsightly manner. The receptacle may be used in a restaurant or banquet hall and may be used as a part of a table setting at home, in a restaurant or banquet hall, the receptacle having an interior adapted to receive and sanitarily retain crumbled paper refuse discarded as wrappers from packaged condiments, bread sticks, crackers, appetizers, and like products that are placed on the table to be unwrapped and consumed.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide an inexpensively-manufactured, low cost receptacle for trash for use on tables and counters.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide disposable receptacle for trash that is also easy to package for storage, shipment and sales.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a trash receptacle that is small enough to place atop a restaurant dining table or other small table.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an article of manufacture which aids in decreasing the time required by restaurant or domestic personnel to clean restaurant tables and the surrounding area of paper wrappers and food particles.

It is another object of this invention to provide a miniature garbage can of pleasing appearance, for placement upon a counter top, for disposing of table scraps.

Yet another object is to provide a miniature garbage can, which has mounted therein a plastic bag as a liner, which can be easily sealed after use and disposed of with the receptacle.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a disposable receptacle for use on a table that has an interior adapted to receive and retain crumbled paper refuse discarded as wrappers from packaged condiments, bread sticks, crackers, appetizers, and like products that are placed on the table to be unwrapped and consumed.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a table receptacle that may be conveniently assembled and placed on a table so that paper refuse may be pushed through an opening into the receptacle and retained therein.

Yet still another object of the present invention is to make a provision for table refuse from wrappers of packaged meal complements by providing a table receptacle which may be disposed of with the refuse contained within it.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a table receptacle that is stackable or collapsible and expandable so as to minimize storage space, easily assembled for an efficient table setup, readily disposable for quick table clearing, and inexpensive so as not to place an unwieldy economic burden on restaurant and banquet hall proprietors in the course of functioning advantageously otherwise.

Still, another object of the present invention is to provide a new table trash receptacle for conveniently disposing of condiment wrappers, tissues, napkins, and other litter on a table within a restaurant, lounge or cafeteria.

All of the foregoing objects as well as others are achieved by the receptacle for trash of this invention. Broadly, this invention is directed to a disposable receptacle for trash. Preferably the receptacle is in the shape of a truncated cone. The receptacle includes a self-supporting container having a bottom with a bottom opening therein and a top with a top opening therein. The top opening is of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash therethrough. Sidewalls are provided between the bottom and top, the sidewalls having an interior surface and an exterior surface. A flexible bag, preferably made of plastic, is mounted within the container. The bag has an opening therein which is fixedly mounted within the container near the top of the container. The bag is thus mounted in the container such that the bag receives all of the trash that passes through the top opening.

Thus, in use, trash is pushed through the top opening into the bag to be retained therein and when filled access to the bottom of the bag may be obtained through the bottom opening. The bag is then twisted to securely entrap the trash therein for subsequent sanitary disposal of the complete receptacle.

Preferably the receptacle is configured in a manner that permits the stacking of one receptacle on the other for convenient and efficient packaging, storage and sales. Although another option is to make the receptacle collapsible, either axially or perpendicular to the axis, for convenient and efficient packaging, storage and sales.

The foregoing is a description of the invention and some of its optional aspects. The invention may be further understood by the description of the preferred embodiments, in conjunction with the drawings, which now follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference may be had to the following description of exemplary embodiments of the present invention considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the receptacle for trash of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein the contents are secured in the bag just prior to disposal of the receptacle;

FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the embodiment of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, after the contents are secured in the bag and just prior to disposal of the container;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, showing the assembly thereof prior to use;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, wherein the receptacles are stacked upon each other prior to use.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, showing the top of the container;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, showing another embodiment of the top of the container; and

FIG. 8 a perspective view of the receptacle of this invention shown in FIG. 1, showing one embodiment of the ornamental look of the container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-8, a disposable receptacle 10 is provided for trash 34, S. The receptacle 10 comprises a self-supporting container 14. The container may be made from any number of materials, such as cardboard, plastic (Styrofoam, polypropylene), glass or the like and is dictated by the cost and desired design configuration. The container 14 is formed, in a conventional manner such as by molding, of a relatively hard, plastic material and has a substantially circular bottom 15.

The container 10 is provided with a bottom 15 that has a bottom opening 38 therein. Preferably, the opening 38 is contiguous with the sidewalls of the container 14.

A top 12 is provided, preferably, as shown in FIG. 4, the top 12 is removable and is force fitted onto the container 10. As shown, for example in FIGS. 4 and 6, the container 60 top 12 has at least one opening 30 therein, preferably formed of two hinged flaps 48 that are cut into the top and can be forced open so that the opening 30 is of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash 34 therethrough. Optionally, as shown in FIG. 7, the container 50 top has an opening formed therein by intersecting slits 32 that are cut into the top and can be forced open so that the opening is of sufficient size to permit the passage of trash therethrough.

The container 14 sidewalls extend between the top 12 and bottom 15 have an interior surface configuration and an exterior surface configuration. In the embodiments depicted, the sidewalls of the receptacle 10 form a truncated cone. However, any configuration is contemplated by this invention, e.g., cylindrical, hexagonal, cubic, etc.

In the preferred embodiments depicted, and as shown in FIG. 5, the sidewalls between the top 12 and bottom 15 form a specific interior configuration and a specific exterior configuration, such that the interior configuration of one container 14 mates with the exterior configuration of another container 14 to permit the stacking of one receptacle 10 onto another. In the embodiments depicted the interior sidewall of one container 14 slidably mates with the exterior sidewall of another container 14. Such stacking capability, makes the receptacles 10 easy to package and store.

In another embodiment, the receptacles are collapsible for easy storage and when used expanded into the full-size receptacle. The container may be collapsible either along the vertical axis or horizontally, i.e., perpendicular to the vertical axis. The containers may then be stacked one upon the other for easy packing and storing.

A flexible bag 16, preferably a plastic bag, is mounted within the container 14. Referring to FIG. 4, the bag 16 has an opening or rim 26 at the top of the bag 44 which is fixedly mounted within the container 14 near the top 12 of the container 14 to enable the bag 16 to receive all the trash 34 that passes through the top opening 30. Preferably, the bag opening 16 at the top of the bag 44 is fixedly mounted to the sidewalls of the container 14 near the top of the container 38 at the juncture of the top lid 12 and sidewalls of the container 14. As depicted in FIG. 4, a seal 28 may be used to seal the rim 26 of the bag 16 to the container opening 38.

FIG. 8 depicts the ornamental look of a preferred receptacle 40 in the form and shape of a trash can. When placed on a table, this shape conveys the message to the user that it is for the disposal of trash.

In all of the embodiments, indicia (not shown) may be placed on the container. The indicia may be strictly decorative, strictly informative, or both. The indicia may constitute an advertisement for the establishment using the receptacle or for a specialty meal of the establishment. Where the receptacle is used, for example, in nursing homes, retirement homes or the like, the insert could be imprinted with a calendar of events for a given day, week or month. There is no limitation on the nature of the indicia that may be carried.

Referring to the Figures, the receptacles 10 are stacked on top of each other prior to use (FIG. 5). One is then separated from the stack and placed with its bottom opening 38 on the table 20. Subsequently, trash 34 is placed through opening 30 and accumulates S in the bag 16. Referring to FIG. 2, when filled, the person seeking to clean and dispose of the trash lifts the receptacle 10 by gripping the top of the container 14 with one hand 22 and gripping the bottom of the bag 42. The bag 16 is then twisted in direction 46 with the other hand 24. The bag 16 forms a twisted closed portion 36 that acts as a seal to keep or entrap the trash S in the bag 16. In order to indicate that the receptacle is used they can be turned up-side down and placed on the table 20, as depicted in FIG. 3, for a pick-up at a latter time by the cleaning or bus personnel.

The plastic bag 16 expands as trash S is placed in it. In most cases, the bag 16 will be able to expand larger than container 14 so that the bag 16 can hold more waste when the bag 16 is expanded and thus can easily be twisted closed as described. The plastic bag 16 permits the user to put wet items into the bag 16 and seal it shut so as to prevent spillage and odors from escaping. When extended past the lower end of the container 38, the bag 16 expands more in terms of width rather than length so as to keep the container 38 stable on top of the plastic bag 16.

In all of the above described embodiments, the container is substantially cylindrical in configuration. While this is a preferred configuration, it is nonetheless non-limiting. Any of the above described embodiments could be made with three or more planar single or double walled sides, as would be apparent to one skilled in the art.

From the foregoing, it will be observed that there is provided an improved trash-receptacle for the use of the restaurant trade, or, where desired, for even actual home use. The receptacle offers a means for the ready disposal of small trash items.

The receptacle can be used during food preparation, such as for the disposal of potato and onion peals, any unused vegetable pieces, and fat trimmed from meat. It can also be used for the disposal of shells and peels while snacking on nuts, oranges, and bananas. The receptacle can be easily closed tightly simply by twisting the plastic bag, thus sealing garbage and odor in the bag. This makes for easy disposal in a regular garbage container with complete neatness and no foul smell.

Preferably, the receptacle of this invention is used while having meals. For example, when you begin your dinner, your table is neat and pretty. Once you begin eating, all kinds of garbage accumulate (e.g., dirty napkins, chicken bones, olive pits). By using the receptacle, the table remains neat and tidy till the end of the meal by quickly disposing of these materials. In addition, food left over on dishes can be disposed of in the receptacle.—Twist, seal, and discard—No mess on your table or smell in your garbage.

The receptacle of this invention can also be used in eating establishments such as restaurants, cafes, bars, diners, room service in hotels, or any place food is served. Once again, when dining at any restaurant, a clean and orderly table often becomes messy and disgusting throughout the meal. Dirty napkins, empty half-and-half containers and sugar packets, straw wrappers, as well as chicken or rib bones are inevitably scattered across the table. With the receptacle of this invention, all of these objects can be neatly stowed away, leaving a tidy and civilized table. Restaurants that serve shellfish, such as lobster and crab, can also benefit greatly from the receptacle of this invention. By the end of a meal at one of these establishments, dish and table space is monopolized by gutted shellfish carcasses and appendages. With the receptacle of this invention, your eating experience can be more visually pleasurable and spatially comfortable.

The foregoing constitutes a description of specific embodiments showing how the invention may be applied and put into use. These embodiments are only exemplary. The invention in its broadest, and more specific aspects, is further described and defined in the claims which now follow.

These claims, and the language used therein, are to be understood in terms of the variants of the invention which have been described. They are not to be restricted to such variants, but are to be read as covering the full scope of the invention as is implicit within the invention and the disclosure.