Title:
Trash container assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a plurality of injection molded plastic panels having integrated connectors which are capable of being packaged and shipped in a knocked-down state and constructed to form an aesthetically pleasing trash container. The integrated connection of the side wall, cover and bottom panel components simplifies trash container construction. The panels are formed of injection molded plastic to interlock with one another without the need for separate metal fasteners or connectors. The system incorporates a minimum number of components by integrally forming the connectors into the injection molded panels which are snapped together to complete the assembly.



Inventors:
Uffner, Michael (Naperville, IL, US)
Anderson, Torrence (Batavia, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/293069
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
12/02/2005
Assignee:
Suncast Corp.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D6/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRADEN, SHAWN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCHALE & SLAVIN, P.A. (PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An injection molded trash container assembly comprising: a base panel for enclosing the bottom of said trash container; a left side panel for enclosing the left side of said trash container; a right side panel for enclosing the right side of said trash container; a back panel for enclosing the back of said trash container; a front panel for enclosing the front of said trash container; a cover hingedly secured to at least one of said left, right, front or back panels, said cover constructed and arranged to provide ingress into said trash container and facilitate removal of trash from said trash container while in an open position, said cover constructed and arranged to cooperate with said left, right, back, and front panels in an overlapping fashion to enclose the top of said trash container when in a closed position; wherein at least two of said panels include a ramp-retainer removably secured to an inner surface thereof, said ramp-retainer including an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion constructed and arranged to retain a flexible liner in an open position for easy insertion of refuse material therein, said lower portion constructed and arranged to permit removal of a filled liner from said container; whereby said base panel, said left side panel, said right side panel, said back panel, said front panel, and said cover panel are constructed and arranged for snap-together assembly without additional fasteners, wherein said trash container can be shipped in a disassembled state and assembled on a desired site.

2. The trash container assembly of claim 1 wherein said cover is hingedly secured to said back panel via a hinge assembly for pivotal movement between said closed and said open positions.

3. The trash container assembly of claim 2 wherein said hinge assembly is constructed and arranged to snap-together without additional fasteners; whereby a portion of said hinge assembly is constructed and arranged to cooperate with said back-panel and whereby a portion of said hinge assembly is constructed and arranged to cooperate with said cover panel.

4. The trash container assembly of claim 3 wherein said hinge assembly is removable and replaceable.

5. The trash container assembly of claim 1 wherein said base panel includes; a top surface constructed and arranged to provide a rigid and stable generally flat surface; a bottom surface constructed and arranged to provide rigidity and stability to said trash container; a front closed edge and a rear closed edge; a left edge and a right edge each having at least one integrally formed boss arranged in a linear fashion and extending outwardly from said left and said right edges, said at least one boss constructed and arranged to cooperate with at least one inwardly extending socket integrally formed into a lower portion of said left and said right side panels for interlocking engagement therebetween.

6. The trash container assembly of claim 5 wherein each of said bosses includes at least one spring lock integrally formed thereto, said at least one spring lock constructed and arranged to cooperate with at least one aperture integrally formed into said sockets, wherein said at least one spring lock engages at least one side wall of said at least one aperture for interlocking engagement therebetween.

7. The trash container assembly of claim 5 wherein said bottom surface of said base panel includes integrally formed cross-bracing; wherein said cross-bracing provides increased weight capacity and stability to said trash container.

8. The trash container assembly of claim 7 wherein said bottom surface of said base panel includes at least four integrally formed caster bosses, wherein each of said caster bosses is constructed and arranged to cooperate with a caster for securement thereof without additional fasteners, whereby said trash container is moveably supported upon said casters.

9. The trash container assembly of claim 8 wherein at least one of said casters includes a manually engageable lock, wherein said lock is constructed and arranged to prevent rotation of said caster while said lock is in an engaged position and allow free rotation of said caster in a disengaged position.

10. The trash container assembly of claim 5 wherein said left side panel includes; a bottom portion including at least one integrally formed socket constructed and arranged to cooperate with said base panel in an overlapping and interlocking manner; a top edge including an upwardly extending lip constructed and arranged to cooperate with said cover panel in an underlying manner; a first edge having at least one integrally formed elongated socket for connection to said back panel in a perpendicular relationship; a second edge having at least one integrally formed elongated socket for connection to said front panel in a perpendicular relationship; an inner surface; and an outer surface.

11. The trash container assembly of claim 10 wherein said at least one elongated socket formed on said first edge is constructed and arranged to interlockingly engage a corresponding at least one elongated boss formed into said rear panel resulting in a mechanically secure connection therebetween and wherein said at least one elongated socket formed on said second edge is constructed and arranged to interlockingly engage a corresponding at least one boss formed into said front panel resulting in a mechanically secure connection therebetween.

12. The trash container assembly of claim 5 wherein said right side panel includes; a bottom portion including at least one integrally formed socket constructed and arranged to cooperate with said basepanel in an overlapping and interlocking manner; a top edge including an upwardly extending lip constructed and arranged to cooperate with said cover panel in an underlying manner; a first edge having at least one integrally formed elongated socket for connection to said back panel in a perpendicular relationship; a second edge having at least one integrally formed elongated socket for connection to said front panel in a perpendicular relationship; an inner surface; and an outer surface.

13. The trash container assembly of claim 12 wherein said at least one elongated socket formed on said first edge is constructed and arranged to interlockingly engage a corresponding at least one boss formed into said rear panel resulting in a mechanically secure connection therebetween and wherein said at least one elongated socket formed on said second edge is constructed and arranged to interlockingly engage a corresponding at least one boss formed into said front panel resulting in a mechanically secure connection therebetween.

14. The trash container assembly of claim 1 wherein said left, said right, said front, and said rear panels each include a ramp-retainer removably secured to an inner surface thereof, said ramp-retainer including an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion constructed and arranged to retain a flexible liner in an open position for easy insertion of refuse material therein, said lower portion constructed and arranged to permit removal of a filled liner from said container.

15. The trash container assembly of claim 14 wherein said ramp-retainer includes a generally L-shaped cross-section, wherein the longer leg of said L-shaped cross-section is directed toward said lower portion of said panel and wherein the shorter leg of said L-shaped cross-section is directed toward and spaced away from said inner surface of said panel; whereby said shorter leg of the L-shaped cross-section is constructed and arranged to retain said flexible liner in said open position and whereby said longer leg of said L-shaped cross section is positioned at an angle with respect to said inner surface of said panel having a lowermost portion positioned juxtaposed to said inner surface to allow a filled liner to be easily removed from said trash container assembly.

16. The trash container assembly of claim 1 wherein an upper portion of said front panel includes a cover latch, said cover latch constructed and arranged to cooperate with said cover panel to releasably retain said cover panel in said closed position.

17. The trash container assembly of claim 16 wherein said cover latch is pivotally mounted to said front panel, said cover latch including at least one latch member extending outwardly from said cover latch, said latch member constructed and arranged to cooperate with at least one corresponding indentation formed in the front portion of said cover panel for releasably securing said cover.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is relates to U.S. Ser. No. 10/628,636 entitled Secure Trash Container, the contents of which are incorporated herein in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to plastic containers, and more specifically, to a plastic trash container assembly utilizing injection molded structural panels having integrally formed connectors. The trash container assembly is capable of being packaged and shipped in a knocked-down state and assembled into a decorative trash container without tools or additional fasteners.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Refuse or trash containers are a necessity for homeowners and business owners alike. Trash containers are preferably positioned in convenient locations for trash collection, which necessitates a decorative exterior if placed in close proximity to employees at businesses or residents in homes. A common form of trash container comprises a rigid one piece body which forms an internal chamber with an access opening provided within a rim at the upper end of the internal chamber. A lid is generally connectable with the rim to close the access opening. When the lid is removed, trash is able to be thrown into and collected within the trash container. Most modern trash containers also house a separate, removable waste receiving receptacle such as a collapsible plastic bag or liner. A common form of trash liner is a flexible plastic bag which is held open by folding an upper edge of the bag over the lip of the container facilitating the ability to place trash into the bag. Once the bag is filled, the top of the bag is tied closed and lifted out of the container.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,803,300 discloses a rigid one-piece trash container with a bag holding mechanism which firmly supports a flexible walled plastic liner in an open configuration within the container. One drawback associated with this type of container occurs when the filled liner engages the side walls of the container. This engagement often causes difficulty in removing the filled bags from the container.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,390,818 discloses a trash receptacle for receiving and holding a flexible, collapsible trash liner. More particularly, the trash receptacle device provides a cavity formed in the lower portion of the trash receptacle for use as a foothold for assisting a user in removing a full trash liner from the receptacle, and a handhold to assist the user in transporting the receptacle.

Typically, the aforementioned one-piece containers are large and incapable of being knocked-down for shipping and storage, adding additional expense to the producer and thus the consumer. In an effort to reduce these problems, one piece containers generally include tapered side walls which allow them to be shipped in a nested arrangement. However, the nested containers are bulky and heavy, offering marginal gains to an end consumer.

In an attempt to overcome the shipping and storage problems associated with one-piece containers, containers capable of being shipped in a broken down condition have been provided. The top portion of these containers is usually provided with one or more openings, sometimes closed with a swinging door, through which the refuse may pass to be received by the waste receptacle within the container. The swinging doors are generally provided with a weight, spring, or mechanical mechanism which must be pushed open to place trash in the container. Because the top portion is securely attached to the container portion, these devices are generally constructed with access doors in their side to facilitate removing a filled trash liner from the container portion.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,241,115 discloses a container for housing a waste receptacle. The device includes a base member formed by joining two identical halves. Two interchangeable side walls are attached to the base member and include extensions which form the top of the container. Interchangeable front and back walls are provided, the front wall being hingedly attached and acting as a door. The front and back walls include a spring loaded door for providing access to the waste receptacle. If a waste receptacle in the form of a plastic bag is used, a frame is provided. The frame is moveably mounted on tracks carried by the side walls of the container.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,348,222 discloses a pedal operated garbage container with improved access to the interior when the lid is opened. In this container, a platform for supporting waste is pivoted to the opposite side walls at its forward edge, and a front wall extends upwardly from the forward edge of the platform. Operation of a pedal pivots the platform upwardly and the front wall outwardly, providing access to the interior. One or more waste receptacles are placed on the platform, and must be lifted out for emptying as needed.

These types of containers suffer from numerous drawbacks for consumers. One such drawback relates to assembly of the container. These containers are often difficult to assemble, requiring tools and a substantial number of fasteners to align the panels and doors for proper operation. In addition, such containers may require internal linkages for operation of the lid.

Other advances in the art are aimed at making filled trash liners easier to remove from the receptacle. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,923,080 discloses a trash receptacle that opens on the side so that a filled liner need not be lifted out of the receptacle.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,984,134 discloses a trash container formed with an open fronted housing having a pivotally mounted front wall movable between a closed position and an open position to allow a filled liner to be removed from the housing. A releasable locking device locks the front wall into the closed position.

Typically, the structure of such devices are complex, requiring numerous small metal and/or plastic fasteners and connector members to maintain a structurally sound container. Due to the complexity of these devices they are generally only offered to consumers fully assembled and not in a knocked-down condition, and therefore require large shipping containers or crates, thereby increasing the final cost of the product to the consumer.

Such prior art devices, while working well, have not met all of the needs of manufacturers to provide a product that can be easily manufactured, packaged and shipped to the consumer in a knocked-down state. Nor have they met the needs of consumers requiring structural integrity combined with a pleasing aesthetic appearance and ease of assembly without the need for tools and small fasteners for assembly.

Paramount among such needs is a trash container panel system which creates a trash container having walls which resist panel separation, buckling, racking and weather infiltration. Structural integrity is a further consideration; the container formed by the panels must tie into the cover and bottom in such a way as to unify the entire enclosure. Also, from a safety standpoint, a cover should be present which can be easily latched and which provides dependable pivoting access to the lineable container.

There are also commercial considerations that must be satisfied by any viable trash container assembly; considerations which are not entirely satisfied by state of the art products. The trash container must be formed of relatively few component parts that are inexpensive to manufacture by conventional techniques. The trash container must also be capable of being packaged and shipped in a knocked-down state for assembly on a desired site.

Finally, there are ergonomic needs that a trash container assembly must satisfy in order to achieve acceptance by the end user. The trash container must be easily and quickly assembled using minimal hardware and requiring a minimal number or no tools. Further, the trash container must not require excessive strength to assemble or include heavy component parts. Moreover, the trash container must assemble together in such a way so as not to detract from the internal storage volume of the resulting trash container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a plurality of injection molded plastic panels having integrated connectors which are capable of being packaged and shipped in a knocked-down state and constructed to form an aesthetically pleasing trash container. The integrated connection of the side wall, cover and bottom panel components simplifies trash container construction. The panels are formed of injection molded plastic to interlock with one another without the need for separate metal fasteners or connectors.

The system incorporates a minimum number of components by integrally forming the connectors into the injection molded panels which are snapped together without tools to complete the assembly. This construction eliminates the need for separate extruded or molded connectors or fasteners to assemble the trash container. Injection molding allows the panels to be formed with a single wall having integral cross-bracing, ribs and gussets for increased rigidity when compared to blow molded or rotationally molded containers. The same side wall and bottom panel components can be used to create a variety of trash containers, and the assembly of the trash container requires minimal hardware and a minimum number of hand tools. The bottom, front and back wall panels have integrally formed outwardly projecting bosses for interlocking cooperative engagement with the left and right side wall panels. The left and right side wall panels are constructed with integrally formed inwardly contoured sockets for interlocking cooperative engagement with the bosses on the edges of the base, front and back side wall panels. The engagement between the bosses and the sockets serve to rigidly connect the components together into a weather resistant trash container.

The system further includes a one-piece latching cover which is hingedly connected and latched into place after the front, back, side and bottom panels have been fully assembled. Each of the side panels include a removably attached retainer-ramp. The retainer-ramps are constructed and arranged to cooperate with the side panels to support a conventional plastic trash liner without the need for metal frames, arms or fasteners. In addition, the retainer-ramps permit the flexible liner to be retained completely inside of the trash container in contrast with the prior art which folds the liner over the rim of the container or over a metal frame to retain the liner in an open position. Still yet, the ramp portion of the retainer-ramps permit a filled liner to be easily pulled upwardly through the container opening without snagging or catching.

The lid panel is hingedly connected to removable and replaceable hinge inserts to provide an opening to place trash in the container. The lid is provided with a latch means constructed and arranged to allow the lid to be latched in a closed position to prevent wind or animals from opening the container. The removable and replaceable hinge inserts permit interchangeability in the event that a hinge should become damaged.

In addition to the integrally formed bosses constructed to cooperate with the side panels, the lower surface of the base panel includes integrally formed bosses constructed and arranged to cooperate with casters to allow easy movement of a loaded or unloaded trash container. The upper surface of the base panel includes a vent allowing filled trash liners to be easily removed by eliminating the vacuum caused within a container when a filled liner engages the side walls.

Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a trash container assembly having panels with integrated connectors.

A further objective is to provide a trash container having panels with integrated connectors which accommodate injection molding plastic formation of the panel components for increased structural integrity.

Yet a further objective is to provide a trash container assembly in which the side walls, cover, and bottom panels are integrally interlocked without separate fasteners or connectors.

Another objective is to provide a trash container assembly constructed of modular panels having an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Yet another objective is to provide a trash container assembly that is capable of being packaged and shipped in a knocked-down state and constructed into a secure enclosure upon a desired site.

Yet another objective is to provide a trash container assembly that includes removable and replaceable hinge components.

Still yet another objective is to provide a trash container assembly that retains a flexible liner completely inside of the container without requiring separate frames or fasteners for improved aesthetic appearance.

Other objectives and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments of this invention. The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments of the present invention and illustrate various objects and features thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the trash container of the instant invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the trash container shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the trash container embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with a liner in place and the cover panel in the open position;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the trash container embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a section view taken along line 1-1 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 illustrating the cooperative engagement of the base, side, and cover panels;

FIG. 6 is a partial section view taken along line 2-2 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 5 illustrating the cooperative engagement of the cover latch and the front panel;

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the base panel utilized in the trash container embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.

FIGS. 1-2 which are now referenced illustrate perspective and exploded views of the trash container assembly, generally referenced as 10, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The trash container is made up of a base panel 100, left side wall panel 200, right side wall panel 300, back wall panel 400, front wall panel 500 and cover panel 600. In the preferred embodiment the panels comprising the assembly are formed of but not limited to a suitable plastic such as polystyrene, polypropylene or polyethylene, through the process of injection molding. The result is that the panels comprising the trash container 10 are formed as unitary single wall panels with integral connectors and cross bracing. Strengthening ribs 202 and gussets 204 are formed within the inner surfaces of the wall panels, cover panel, and base panel in order to enhance rigidity of the panels while leaving the external surface in a generally smooth condition for aesthetic purposes, as shown in FIG. 2. The base panel 100 has a top surface 104, bottom surface 106 (FIG. 7), front edge 108, back edge 110, left edge 112, and right edge 114. Integrally formed along the left and right base panel edges is a plurality of bosses 116 for attaching the base panel to the left 200 and right 300 wall panels. The bosses 116 extend outwardly from each edge to cooperate with sockets 210 extending inwardly along the bottom portions 206, 306 of the left and right wall panels respectively. The bosses 116 and sockets 210 are constructed and arranged so that the bosses 116 enter and mateably engage the sockets 210, securing the panels together in an inter-fitting engagement and perpendicular arrangement. Detent or spring-lock fasteners, such as those illustrated at 118 cooperate with apertures 208, to secure the bosses 116 to the sockets 210. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the spring-lock fasteners 118 can be used throughout the trash container 10 to mount or secure components to one another, and to facilitate ready assembly of the trash container if it is provided in an unassembled or broken-down condition. The overlapping boss 116 and socket 210 arrangement increases the structural integrity of the trash container 10 by preventing the panels 200, 300, 400, 500 from bowing or bending inwardly or outwardly, and thus, adversely affecting the appearance or operation of the trash container 10.

The left wall panel 200 is configured having a first edge 212 and a second edge 214. Both edges 212, 214 include integrally formed elongated and contoured sockets 210 extending inwardly in a linear fashion along each edge. The sockets 210 are generally constructed and arranged to cooperate with the bosses 116 provided along either edge of the back panel 400 and front panel 500.

The right wall panel 300 is configured having a first edge 312 and a second edge 314. Both edges 312, 314 include integrally formed elongated and contoured sockets 210 extending inwardly in a linear fashion along each edge. The sockets 210 are generally constructed and arranged to cooperate with bosses 116 provided along either edge of the back panel 400 and front panel 500.

The outer surface of the panels 200, 300, 400, 500 are constructed generally smooth having a plurality of inwardly bowed grooves 230 for added strength and aesthetic appearance. The inside of the panels 200, 300, 400, 500 are constructed with a plurality of strengthening ribs 202 extending along the panels with a portion of the ribs 202 being provided with a plurality of gussets 204 to further strengthen the panels. The ribs 202 and gussets 204 increase the structural integrity of the trash container 10 by preventing the panels 200, 300, 400, 500 from bowing or bending inwardly or outwardly, and thus, adversely affecting the appearance or operation of the trash container 10. The integrally formed ribs 202 and gussets 204 are facilitated by injection molding. Injection molding offers significant strength and stability advantages over blow-molding or rotational molding as utilized in the prior art. In this manner the container of the instant invention is capable of handling a significant amount of weight as compared to prior art plastic trash containers.

The left and right side panels 200, 300 are attached to the base panel 100 by inserting the contoured bosses 116 into the sockets 210 until the spring tabs 118 engage the apertures 208 in the sockets 210 of the left 200 and right 300 panels.

The front and back panels 400, 500 are attached to the left 200 and right 300 panels by inserting the elongated and contoured bosses 116 into sockets 210 until the spring tabs 118 integrally formed into the contoured bosses 116 engage the apertures 208 in the sockets of the left and right panels 400, 500. It will be appreciated that the purpose of the contoured and elongated bosses 116 are to align two panels in a perpendicular relationship and to facilitate their mechanical connection. The perpendicular panels are brought into an overlapping relationship wherein the contoured bosses 116 enter the corresponding sockets 210 in the left, and right panels 200, 300 respectively. The result is a mechanically secure connection between the panels. The overlapping edges between the panels as described above provides a secure connection and offers several advantages. First, the design allows the panels to be connected without the need for separate connectors. Second, the design creates a positive lock that prevents separation of the panels. Third, the design maintains alignment of the panels in the same plane and prevents bowing or bending of either panel relative to one another. The resultant trash container created by the combination of the interlocking panels benefits from high structural integrity and reliable operation.

Referring to FIGS. 3-6, perspective and section views of the trash container are shown illustrating the pivotal operation of the cover panel 600 and latch assembly. Also illustrated is the construction and arrangement of the separable and replaceable hinge assemblies. The hinge assemblies generally include a pair of hinge inserts 650 (FIG. 2), each having a pair of hinge pins 652. The hinge pins are constructed and arranged to cooperate with a plurality of hinge pin receivers 602. The hinge pin receivers 602 are generally a pair of outwardly depending supports 603 located adjacent to the back edge 610 of the cover panel 600 and are constructed and arranged to cooperate with a hinge pin 652 to allow pivotal movement of the cover panel 600 between an open position illustrated in FIG. 3 and a closed position illustrated in FIG. 1. The hinge pins 652 are each integrally formed onto the upper portion of the hinge inserts 650. The hinge pins 652 cooperate with their respective hinge pin receivers 602 to allow pivotal movement of the cover panel 600 and also allow the cover 600 to be removed when in the open position by lifting the cover upward and sliding the hinge pin receiver 602 outward from the pins 652. The cover panel 600 is releasably secured in the closed position by pivoting the cover panel downward until the cover latch 622 pivotally mounted into the front panel 500 engages at least one corresponding indentation 620 formed in the front portion of the cover panel 600. The result is a positive mechanical connection. To open the cover panel 600, the cover latch 622 is pulled outward until the catch 624 is released from the indentation 620 and the cover panel is pivoted upwards. The result is a positive mechanical connection between the side walls of the container and the cover panel 600 that resists opening by winds or animals, and yet provides easy access for placing trash into the container.

It should be appreciated that the hinge assemblies allow the cover panel 600 to be installed and/or removed when the cover 600 is in the open position and yet the cover and lid are secure and non-removable when in the closed position. It should also be appreciated that the hinge inserts are removable and replaceable in the event that one or both should become damaged.

Referring to FIGS. 2-6 the retainer-ramps 450 are illustrated. The retainer-ramps include an upper portion 452 that is constructed and arranged to retain a flexible liner 700 in an open position within the trash container and a lower portion 454 constructed and arranged to permit a filled liner to be easily removed from the trash container without catching or snagging. The upper portion of the retainer-ramp includes a depending lip 456 over which the flexible liner may be folded over for retention thereof. The lowermost portion of retainer-ramp is constructed and arranged to fit against the inner surface of each respective panel and taper inwardly away from the inner surface as the retainer-ramp extends toward the container opening. In this manner the retainer-ramps function as a guide to aid in the removal of a filled liner from the container. The inner surface of the retainer-ramp 458 includes an attachment means integrally formed thereto for attaching the retainer-ramp to the inner surface of the front, back, left and right panels. The attachment means is illustrated herein as a pair of snap-lock connectors 460. The snap-lock connectors each include an inner portion 462 and an outer portion 464; both portions are integrally formed onto their respective panels. For assembly the inner portion is pressed into the outer portion until the components are engaged. In addition to the retainer-ramps the base panel is provided with a vent aperture 120 to aid in the removal of filled liners.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 7, the casters 120 and caster bosses 122 are illustrated. The casters 120 include a stem 124 that is constructed and arranged to cooperate with an aperture 126 integrally formed onto the lower surface 106 of the base panel 100. For assembly the stem is inserted into the boss aperture until retainer ring 128 snaps into a corresponding groove formed into the aperture, the result is a mechanically secure connection. The casters may also include a releasable lock 130 to prevent the trash container from unwanted movement on hills and the like.

All patents and publications mentioned in this specification are indicative of the levels of those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains. All patents and publications are herein incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.

It is to be understood that while a certain form of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not to be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification.

One skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the present invention is well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as those inherent therein. The embodiments, methods, procedures and techniques described herein are presently representative of the preferred embodiments, are intended to be exemplary and are not intended as limitations on the scope. Changes therein and other uses will occur to those skilled in the art which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and are defined by the scope of the appended claims. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention as claimed should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. Indeed, various modifications of the described modes for carrying out the invention which are obvious to those skilled in the art are intended to be within the scope of the following claims.





 
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