Title:
Disposable multi-liner garbage container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collapsible and disposable garbage container that includes a plurality of liners. The plurality of liners are open, ready for use, and attached to the disposable garbage container. The container is collapsible for ease in transport when new. During use, the container is expanded to define a volume for receiving garbage in the liners. Further, when the liners are used up, the container can be collapsed for subsequent disposal. Text may be provided on a sidewall of the disposable garbage container.



Inventors:
Scherer, Ronald J. (Vadnais Heights, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/416033
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAMRE, SCHUMANN, MUELLER & LARSON, P.C. (Minneapolis, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A disposable garbage container comprising: a support structure including a sidewall and a bottom panel, the sidewall including a lower edge and an upper edge, and where the lower edge is attached to the bottom panel; a plurality of liners; and at least one attaching member securing the plurality of liners to the support structure proximate to the upper edge of the support structure.

2. The disposable garbage container of claim 1,. wherein the support structure is comprised of a corrugated material.

3. The disposable garbage container of claim 1, wherein the support structure and the plurality of liners are comprised of recyclable materials.

4. The disposable garbage container of claim 2, wherein the corrugated material comprises cardboard.

5. The disposable garbage container of claim 1, wherein the sidewall includes: a front panel and a back panel; and a first side panel and a second side panel; wherein the bottom panel and the first and second side panels each includes at least one fold.

6. The disposable garbage container of claim 5, wherein the plurality of liners extend over the upper edge of the sidewall and are secured to the first and second side panels by a first and second attaching member respectively.

7. The disposable garbage container of claim 6, wherein the folds are configured to be pushed towards an interior of the support structure.

8. The disposable garbage container of claim 1, wherein the container includes a collapsed position and an expanded position.

9. A disposable garbage container, comprising: a support structure including a sidewall and a bottom panel, the sidewall including a lower edge and an upper edge, and where the lower edge is attached to the bottom panel, and wherein the sidewall and the bottom panel are configured to allow the support structure to move between a collapsed position where the container is not intended to receive garbage and an expanded position where the container defines an interior volume; and a plurality of liners secured to the support structure proximate to the upper edge of the support structure and disposed within the support structure, the liners being layered one on top of the other, wherein when the support structure is at the expanded position, at least an uppermost one of the liners is opened and ready to receive garbage.

10. The disposable garbage container of claim 9, wherein the sidewall comprises a plurality of panels.

11. The disposable garbage container of claim 9, wherein the support structure is comprised of a corrugated material.

12. The disposable garbage container of claim 9, wherein the support structure and the plurality of liners are comprised of recyclable materials.

13. The disposable garbage container of claim 11, wherein the corrugated material comprises cardboard.

14. A method of garbage removal comprising: providing a disposable garbage container that includes a support structure having a sidewall and a bottom panel, the sidewall including a lower edge and an upper edge, and where the lower edge is attached to the bottom panel; a plurality of liners, and at least one attaching member securing the plurality of liners to the support structure proximate to the upper edge of the support structure, wherein the disposable garbage container is provided in a collapsed position; expanding the disposable garbage container into a collecting position; inserting garbage into an uppermost liner within the support structure; when a sufficient amount of garbage has been inserted into the uppermost liner, removing the uppermost liner from the support structure thereby exposing a next uppermost liner; and upon removing the last liner, collapsing the disposable garbage container into a collapsed position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/677,111 filed on May 3, 2005 and entitled “DISPOSABLE MULTI-LINER GARBAGE CONTAINER”, and which is incorporated herewith by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a disposable garbage container that includes a plurality of liners or garbage bags. More particularly, the invention relates to a multi-liner garbage container which is able to be folded into a compact storage position. The compact storage position provides for efficient shipping of new garbage containers, as well as disposal and recycling of used garbage containers.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The use of holders for supporting and holding garbage bags is well known and widely employed. Currently in the art, garbage containers need to be serviced frequently to replace used liners. Upon removal of garbage filled liners, a user needs to insert a new liner or garbage bag into the garbage container. A common practice is to remove a single liner from a roll of liners carried by the user and insert the single liner into a garbage container. Similarly, in a household environment, a special event may require extra garbage containers to be dispersed about the household or associated property. For convenience and cost, either unsupported and unsightly garbage bags or large plastic trash cans are often used. Besides being unsightly, an unsupported garbage bag can more easily be punctured or tipped over, causing garbage leakage or spillage problems.

When a garbage container is used without a liner, garbage removal is cumbersome, as the entire garbage container and its contents need to be transported. Further, the inside of the garbage container can become soiled and needs to be occasionally cleaned.

To alleviate garbage container cleaning, a liner-less disposable container such as a box is sometimes used. This solution, however, only provides for a one time use. Once the container is filled, the entire container and its contents are disposed of and another garbage container needs to be provided. Further, when liners are not used, if the garbage contents are wet, leaking is often an issue.

A convenient, recyclable, easily maintained and transportable garbage container is often desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a convenient, recyclable, easily maintained garbage container.

One aspect of the present invention is a disposable garbage container comprising a support structure with a plurality of liners attached within. In one possible embodiment, the support structure is made of a recyclable cardboard, for example corrugated cardboard, or other recyclable material. The support structure includes front, back, side and bottom panels, some of which contain fold lines to enable collapsibility of the garbage container. The container can be collapsed or folded into the compact storage position for delivery of new garbage containers. The compact storage position is also beneficial for efficient removal and recycling of used garbage containers. In one possible embodiment, the garbage container, and associated liners, can be collapsed into the compact storage position by pressing the fold lines in towards the interior of the support structure. In another possible embodiment, the garbage container, and associated liners, is folded like a grocery bag is folded.

Another aspect of the present invention is a garbage container which includes a front panel where text, such as a logo or a multi-lingual message, can be printed. For example, the text could be used as an advertising means.

Yet another aspect of the present invention is an attaching member providing means to secure the plurality of liners to the support structure. It can be appreciated that the attaching member could be comprised of one of many devices, such as a staple, adhesive, tape, or the like.

In the exemplary embodiment, the support structure and liners are chosen to be of a recyclable grade, such as cardboard and biodegradable bags. Upon use of such materials, the present invention is environmentally friendly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further details are explained below with the help of the examples illustrated in the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 represents a perspective view of a garbage container in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 2 represents a cross-sectional view of the garbage container, illustrated in FIG. 1, taken along line 2-2.

FIG. 3 represents a cross-sectional view of an area of detail of the garbage container of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 represents a top view of the garbage container, illustrated in FIG. 1, positioned in the compact storage position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Various embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings, wherein like reference numbers generally indicate corresponding elements through out the several views. Reference to various embodiments does not limit the scope of the invention, which is limited only by the scope of the claims attached hereto. Additionally, any examples set forth in this specification are not intended to be limiting and merely set forth some of the many possible embodiments for the claimed invention.

The present invention provides a garbage container that is convenient to use, disposable, and includes a surface on which to print text, such as a logo. A plurality of liners, which are layered one upon another in an open and ready to use position are attached to and supported by a support structure. Prior to use, the garbage container and associated liners are folded or collapsed into a shipping position. This allows multiple collapsed garbage containers to be compactly and efficiently shipped in bulk or individually moved to desired locations of use. After being unfolded to a collecting position and a top liner is filled with garbage, the top liner can be removed to expose a next top liner. Upon using the entire plurality of liners, the entire garbage container can be collapsed or folded into a disposal/recycling position. The disposal/recycling position is more compact than the shipping position, as the plurality of liners is no longer contained inside the support structure.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 one possible embodiment of a disposable garbage container 50, associated support structure 51, and plurality of garbage liners 64 are illustrated. It can be appreciated that the support structure 51 can be constructed in a variety of satisfactory ways. The support structure 51 includes a sidewall and a bottom panel 57. In an exemplary embodiment the sidewall includes a front panel 54, a back panel 55, and a pair of side panels 60, 61. The sidewall is attached perpendicularly to the bottom panel 57. The top is open, but could include a closure. The panels are joined to each other to form the support structure 51 that supports a plurality of garbage liners 64 to be later described.

Although a particular structure for garbage collection is illustrated in the exemplary embodiment, in other embodiments a support structure 51 of another configuration for defining a suitable garbage container 50 may be used. For example, the support structure may be comprised of a different number of panels forming, for example, a cylinder (one panel) or an octagon (eight panels). In one possible embodiment, each of the panels comprising the sidewall may be formed of one piece of material with folds defining the junction between panels. Similarly, in another possible embodiment, the bottom panel 57 can be formed of a common piece of material with the sidewall, with folds defining the junction between the bottom panel 57 and the sidewall. It can be appreciated that a seam may be positioned in an appropriate location, for example only, on the back panel 55, so as not to impede the folding of the garbage container or interfere with text 65 provided on the front panel 54.

In one possible embodiment, each side panel 60, 61 includes a fold line 58 positioned longitudinally along a center axis of each side panel 60, 61. The bottom panel 57 includes a fold line 56 running lengthwise down the center of the panel 57, as well as two “V” fold lines 59 provided on each end of the panel 57.

Referring to FIG. 4, the fold lines provide a means to collapse the garbage container 50 into a compact storage position. In one possible embodiment, bottom panel 57 fold lines 56, 59 and side panel 60, 61 fold lines 58 are pressed in towards an inner cavity of the support structure 51, providing for the front panel 54 and back panel 55 to move towards each other. When collapsed, the garbage container 50, and associated plurality of liners 64, can easily and efficiently be transported, for example, to a point of sale or to a user location. Similarly, the compact storage position is beneficial when disposing and/or recycling the garbage container after use. It can be appreciated that fold lines of a different shape and position may similarly provide for easy folding into the compact storage position.

For example, in one possible embodiment, bottom panel 57 is comprised of multiple panels fitted together to form a base of the garbage container 50. In yet another possible embodiment, the bottom panel 57 can be coated with a nonabsorbent substance providing a backup liquid barrier to deter fluid leakage from the container.

The shape and dimensions of the support structure 51 can vary depending on the desired garbage volume. For example, a smaller volume garbage container 50 may be desired for a household or hotel environment, whereas a larger volume garbage container 50 may be required for outdoor yard waste or events.

In one possible embodiment, the support structure 51 is comprised of a corrugated material such as cardboard. The cardboard can be a recyclable grade of cardboard.

Text 65 is provided on an outer surface of the sidewall, for example the front panel 54. The text 65 could be either printed directly on the support structure 51 or may be printed on a label, the label being directly applied to the sidewall. It can be appreciated that the text 65 could fulfill a variety of purposes. The text 65 could include, for example only, a company logo, an advertisement, garbage contents (i.e. CANS ONLY), or multi-lingual directions.

A plurality of garbage liners 64 are attached to the support structure 51, by at least one attaching means 62, in a layered, opened, ready for use, position. For example, the liners are attached to the side panels 60, 61 by attaching means 62, 63. A sufficient number of garbage liners 64 are attached within the support structure 51 to last for the duration of an event or a certain number of days. For example, 14 liners may be provided to allow the container to be used for two weeks, assuming daily removal of one liner. In one possible embodiment, a custom number of garbage liners 64 are provided based on a request by the user. For example, a user may request 5 garbage liners 64 to be provided within the support structure 51, based on an event requiring only 5 garbage liners 64 to be filled and subsequently removed.

In one possible embodiment, the plurality of garbage liners 64 include different colors in order to notify the user that the supply of garbage liners 64 are running low. For example, the last 2 or 3 garbage liners 64 may be a bright red color, while the balance of the plurality of liners 64 are white.

The plurality of liners 64 can comprise a biodegradable material to enable recycling.

In one possible embodiment, the attaching means 62, 63 is comprised of at least one heavy-duty staple provided on each side panel 60, 61, securing the plurality of liners 64 to an upper portion of the support structure 51. In one possible embodiment, the liners 64 are folded over a top edge 52 of the support structure 51. In another possible embodiment, the attaching means 62, 63 is comprised of an adhesive. In another possible embodiment, the attaching means 62, 63 is comprised of multiple pieces of adhesive tape which individually secures each liner of the plurality of liners 64 to an outer surface of the support structure 51. In yet another embodiment, the attaching means 62 is comprised of a rubber-band sized to fit around the outer perimeter of the support structure.

A method of garbage removal including the use of the disposable garbage container 50 includes unfolding the disposable garbage container 50 from a collapsed shipping position and positioning the garbage container 50 into an un-collapsed or collecting position, where the front 54, back 55, bottom 57, and side 60, 61 panels define an interior volume. With reference to FIG. 2, after filling the top liner 66 with garbage, the top liner 66 can be torn from the attaching members 62, 63 and removed, thereby exposing the next top liner. This process is repeated for the remaining liners. Upon removing the last top liner 66, the disposable garbage container 50 can be folded or collapsed back into a disposal/recycling position, as shown in FIG. 4, for removal and subsequent recycling.

The various embodiments described above are provided by way of illustration only and should not be construed to limit the invention. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize various modifications and changes that may be made to the present invention without following the example embodiments and applications illustrated and described herein, and without departing from the true spirit and scope of the present invention, which is set forth in the following claims.