Title:
CONTAINER COVER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cover for a debris container has a top surface defining an opening into which debris may be added. The cover is a sheet of flexible material having an outer edge periphery and has a first fastening device being engaged to at least a portion of the sheet of flexible material. The first fastening device releasably engages the cover to an upper edge region of the debris container. The cover constructed and arranged to extend above the opening and the top surface of the debris container thereby covering any debris extending out of the opening and above the top surface of the debris container



Inventors:
Tragiai, Paul J. (St. Paul, MN, US)
Application Number:
11/688478
Publication Date:
09/27/2007
Filing Date:
03/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D43/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VIDAS, ARRETT & STEINKRAUS, P.A. (Eden Prairie, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A cover for a debris container, the debris container having a top surface defining an opening into which debris may be added, the cover being a sheet of flexible material having an outer edge periphery, the cover comprising a first fastening device being engaged to at least a portion of the sheet of flexible material, the first fastening device for releasably engaging the cover to an upper edge region of the debris container, the cover constructed and arranged to extend above the opening and the top surface of the debris container thereby covering any debris extending out of the opening and above the top surface of the debris container.

2. The cover of claim 1, the debris container selected from at least one member of the group consisting of wheel-barrels, tilt trucks, trash barrels, buckets, and powered dump trucks.

3. The cover of claim 1, the sheet of flexible material selected from at least one member of the group consisting of poly sheeting, canvas, linen, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, cross-laminated high-density polyolefin film, high density polyethylene (HDPE), extrusion laminated reinforced polyethylene sheeting, extrusion laminated films, reinforced with polyester string reinforcement grids and any combination thereof.

4. The cover of claim 1, the sheet of flexible material being dust resistant.

5. The cover of claim 1, the sheet of flexible material being tear resistant.

6. The cover of claim 1, the first fastening device being selected from at least one member of the group consisting of a drawstring, elastic cord, elastic band, and any combination thereof.

7. The cover of claim 6, the sheet of flexible material having an edge, the edge of the sheet of flexible material being folded and engaged to a surface of the sheet of flexible material to form at least one passageway, the first fastening device being positioned within the passageway.

8. The cover of claim 6, the sheet of flexible material having a plurality of eyelets, the first fastening device extending through the plurality of eyelets.

9. The cover of claim 1, further comprising a second fastening device engaged to at least a portion of the sheet of flexible material, the second fastening device being selected from at least one member of the group consisting of a drawstring, elastic cord, elastic band, and any combination thereof.

10. The cover of claim 9, the first fastening device being different than the second fastening device.

11. The cover of claim 1, further comprising at least one support member, the at least one support member being engaged to the cover and to the debris container.

12. The cover of claim 1, the sheet of flexible material having a surface, the sheet of flexible material having at least one means to engage a card to the surface of the sheet of flexible material.

13. The cover of claim 12, the at least one means to engage a card being at least one pocket engaged to the surface of the sheet of flexible material, the at least one pocket being constructed and arranged to hold at least a portion of the card.

14. The cover of claim 13, the card having information printed on at least a portion of the card, the at least one pocket being transparent so that the information can be viewed through the at least one pocket.

15. The cover of claim 13, the card having a first portion and a second portion, the first portion being contained within the pocket, the second portion extending out of the pocket, the second portion having information printed thereon.

16. The cover of claim 15, the pocket being opaque.

17. The cover of claim 12, the at least one means to engage a card being an elastic band, the elastic band having a first end and a second end, the first and second ends engaged to the surface of the sheet of flexible material, the card having a first portion and a second portion, the first portion being secured to the surface of the sheet of material by the elastic band, the second portion extending out of the pocket, the second portion having information printed thereon.

18. The cover of claim 1, the sheet of flexible material defining at least one opening, the at least one opening being covered by a transparent material to form a window, the window providing visual access to the interior of the debris container.

19. A cover for a debris container designed to keep the debris and dust within the container secured therewithin, said cover being formed from a flexible sheet of material which is dust resistant, said cover including an outer peripheral edge having an elastic member arranged therewith such that said cover may be snapped on and off over a top of a debris container, said cover further including at least one pocket into which indicia may be placed to mark information about the type of debris therewithin to facilitate handling of same.

20. A method to minimize the spread of dust from a debris container filled with debris while transporting the filled debris container through a building, comprising the steps of: providing a debris container, the debris container having an upper edge portion and a top surface defining an opening, the debris container having debris placed through the opening; providing a cover, the cover being a sheet of flexible material, the cover comprising a first fastening device being engaged to at least a portion of the sheet of flexible material, the first fastening device for releasably engaging the cover to the upper edge region of the debris container, the cover constructed and arranged to extend above the opening and the top surface of the debris container thereby covering any debris extending out of the opening above the top surface of the debris container; placing the cover over the opening of the debris container; engaging the cover to the upper edge portion of the debris container with the first fastening device so that the amount of dust being released from the debris container is minimized; and transporting the debris container through the building.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from provisional U.S. Application No. 60/784,890, filed on Mar. 23, 2006, the entire content of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

During demolition, building and remodeling activities, debris such as sheetrock, metal studs, flooring materials, ceiling tile, support structures, sheet-metal, plumbing, wiring and other building materials need to be removed from the site. Transporting this debris within and out of certain locations such as health care facilities, clean room manufacturing sites, museums, and occupied spaces, such as are found in office buildings and multi-unit residential structures, can be a health and safety concern due to potential spread of dust, dirt and friable contaminants from the debris to other areas of the facility, i.e. “clean” areas.

Debris can be transported using various transport containers, for example, but not limited to, trash barrels, wheel barrows, buckets, powered dump trucks, and tilt trucks. Some of the transport containers have lids while other transport containers do not have lids. For example, tilt trucks can be used with a rigid removable lid. However, debris is often an awkward size and does not allow the use of the lid with the transport container.

Thus, there is a need for a flexible lid/cover that can be used with different transport containers that will cover the debris within the transport container in order to prevent the spread of dust, dirt and friable contaminants from the transport container during transit within and out of the facility.

The art referred to and/or described above is not intended to constitute an admission that any patent, publication or other information referred to herein is “prior art” with respect to this invention. In addition, this section should not be construed to mean that a search has been made or that no other pertinent information as defined in 37 C.F.R. §1.56(a) exists.

All US patents and applications and all other published documents mentioned anywhere in this application are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

Without limiting the scope of the invention a brief summary of some of the claimed embodiments of the invention is set forth below. Additional details of the summarized embodiments of the invention and/or additional embodiments of the invention may be found in the Detailed Description of the Invention below.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In at least one embodiment, the invention is directed to a cover for a transport container. The cover is constructed and arranged to minimize the spread of dust, dirt and friable contaminants from the transport container during transit.

In at least one embodiment, the cover is suspended over the opening of the transport container by support members. In some embodiments, the cover has at least one window or pocket. In at least one embodiment, an informational card with indicia printed thereon is inserted into the pocket.

These and other embodiments which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for further understanding of the invention, its advantages and objectives obtained by its use, reference can be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof and the accompanying descriptive matter, in which there is illustrated and described an embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

A detailed description of the invention is hereafter described with specific reference being made to the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a side view of a transport container with a cover;

FIG. 2 is a top view of the cover in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the cover in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a transport container covered by a cover with support members.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention may be embodied in many different forms, there are described in detail herein specific embodiments of the invention. This description is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiments illustrated.

For the purposes of this disclosure, like reference numerals in the figures shall refer to like features unless otherwise indicated.

FIG. 1 shows a transport container 10 with a cover 20 extending over the top of the transport container 10. Examples of transports containers 10 include, but are not limited to, trash barrels, wheel barrows, buckets, powered dump trucks, and tilt trucks. Some transport containers 10 have a top surface 12 that defines an opening through which debris in placed into the body of the transport container 10 and through which debris can extend above the top surface 12 of the transport container 10. Other transport containers 10 are carts with shelves that have items stored on the shelves.

As shown in FIG. 1, the cover 20 extends over the transport container 10 so that the material within the transport container 10 is covered. In the case of a transport container 10 with shelves, the cover 20 can enclose a portion of the shelving or all of the shelving so that material on the shelves is covered. Additionally, the cover 20 extends down the sides of the transport container 10, where the cover becomes engaged to an upper edge region of the transport container 10 via at least one fastening device 24, as shown in the cross-section of FIG. 3. Thus, it is within the scope of the invention for the cover 20 to have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven or more fastening devices 24. Note that the fastening device 24 can be positioned on the inside of the cover 20, as shown by fastening device 24a or the fastening device 24 can be positioned on the outside of the cover 20, as shown by fastening devices 24b and 24c. The fastening device 24 can be a drawstring, elastic, e.g. an elastic cord or elastic band, or any combination thereof.

In some embodiments, at least one fastening device 24 extends about the entire circumference of the transport container 10. Thus, the fastening device 24 has a length equal to the circumference of the transport container 10. In some embodiments, at least one fastening device 24 extends about only a portion of the circumference of the transport container 10. Therefore, the fastening device 24 has a length less than the circumference of the transport container 10. In this embodiment, for example, the cover 20 has a plurality of fastening devices 24, e.g. elastic bands, which engage portions of the cover 20 to the transport container 10. For example, if the transport container 10 has a plurality of corners, an elastic band can extend about each of the corners so that the cover 20 fits tightly around the corners of the transport container 10. Thus, the fastening devices 24 can be positioned in specific areas to tighten the engagement of the cover 20 to the transport container 10. In at least one embodiment, the cover 20 has a first fastening device 24 that extends about the entire circumference of the transport container 10 and a second fastening device 24 that extends partially about the circumference of the transport container 10.

In some embodiments, the fastening device 24 is positioned within a passageway 26 that is formed by folding over the edge of the cover 20 to form an attachment region 28. As shown in FIG. 3, the attachment region 28 can be on the inside of the cover 20, shown by attachment region 28a, or on the outside of the cover 20, shown by attachment region 28b. In one embodiment, 1.25 inches, or 3.175 centimeters, is folded over to form passageway 26. The edge of the cover 20 can be engaged to the surface of the cover 20 at an attachment region 28 by any means known in the art, for example, but not limited to, sewing, adhesive or by heat sealing. In some embodiments, the fastening device 24 extends through a plurality of eyelets that are positioned about the perimeter of the cover 20. Any number of eyelets can be used.

In at least one embodiment, the fastening device 24, e.g. a drawstring, is pulled or adjusted so that the cover 20 fits tightly about the transport container 10 and an adjustment member maintains the snug/tight fit of the cover 20 about the transport container 10. Thus, the fastening device 24 allows the cover 20 to be releasably engaged to the transport container 10. In one embodiment, the adjustment member can have two holes through which the two ends of the drawstring are threaded, thereby forming a loop whose size is adjusted by sliding the adjustment member along the drawstring, which encircles the transport container 10. Note that because the fastening device 24 maintains the snug/tight fit of the cover 20, the cover 20 can be any size. Thus, a transport container 10 that has a larger sized cover 20 can accommodate more debris and/or debris extending farther out of the opening of the transport container 10 than the same transport container 10 with a smaller sized cover 20 due to the oversized or loose fit of the larger sized cover 20 about the opening of the transport container 10. In this way a cover 20 can be used on transport containers 10 that are smaller than the specific transport container 10 the cover 20 was designed for as well as for the specific transport container 10 that the cover 20 was designed.

As discussed above, the cover 20 can have more than one fastening device 24, shown, for example, in FIG. 3 by fastening devices 24b and 24c. The fastening devices 24 are separated by a distance D1. It is within the scope of the invention for the fastening devices 24 to be separated by any distance. The fastening devices 24b,c can be the same type of fastening device 24 or different types of fastening devices 24. In FIG. 3, a first fastening device 24b is contained within passageway 26b, while a second fastening device 24c is engaged directly to a surface of the cover 20. In one embodiment, the first fastening device 24b is a drawstring and the second fastening device 24c is an elastic band engaged to the cover 20. Although FIG. 3 shows two fastening devices 24 on the right hand side of the cover 20, as discussed above, the cover 20 can have any number and any type(s) of fastening devices 24, each fastening device being separated from the adjacent fastening device(s) 24. In at least one embodiment, the use of a plurality of fastening devices 24 helps increase the retention of dust within the transport container 10, thereby minimizing the dust from leaving the transport container 10.

The cover 20 can be made with any material. Preferably, the material is flexible so that it can cover debris that extends out of the opening of the transport container 10, above the top surface of the transport container 10. In at least one embodiment, the material is puncture and/or tear resistant. In some embodiments, the material minimizes or prevents dust from escaping from the transport container 10. In one embodiment, the material has a tight weave to minimize or prevent dust from escaping from the transport container 10. In some embodiments, the material has a coating to cover any openings in the material's weave. It is within the scope of the invention for any coating material to be used, for example, but not limited to silicon-modified organic (SMO) elastomeric emulsion, liquid silicone rubber, and room-temperature-vulcanizing (RTV) elastomers. Examples of suitable material for the cover 20 include, but are not limited to, poly sheeting/polyethylene, high density polyethylene (HDPE), canvas, linen, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, cross-laminated high-density polyolefin film, extrusion laminated reinforced polyethylene sheeting, extrusion laminated films, and reinforced with polyester string reinforcement grids.

In at least one embodiment, the cover 20 has at least one support member 34. It is within the scope of the invention for the cover 20 to have one, two, three, four, five, six or more support members 34. The support member(s) 34 can be made from any material, for example, but not limited to fiberglass, plastic, wood, steel, metal alloys, and any combination thereof. In one embodiment, the support member(s) 34 are fiberglass poles. In some embodiments, the support member(s) 34 are flexible rods such as are used in tent that does not require stakes to be set up. In at least one embodiment, the cover 20 with support member(s) 34 is engaged to the transport container 10 by an elastic band.

The support member(s) 34 can be straight, curvilinear or can have one, two, three, four, five, six or bends. The support member(s) 34 can be engaged to the cover 20 by any support means 36, including but not limited to pockets, bands of material or elastic, and any combination thereof. Each support member 34 can be engaged to the cover 20 by one, two, three, four, five, six or more support means 36. As shown in FIG. 4, the support member 34 is engaged to the cover 20 by two support means 36.

In some embodiment, the pockets are positioned above an elastic band. Between the pockets and the elastic band, the material forming the cover 20 is loose. Each end of a support member 34 is inserted in a pocket thereby forming a domed cover that extends over the top surface and/or opening of the transport container 10. In this embodiment, the support members 34 are made of lightweight material so that the elastic band is able to support the cover 20.

In at least one embodiment, the addition of support members 34 to the cover 20 increases the volume of the transport container 10, as shown in the cross-section of FIG. 4. The width of the opening defined by the top surface 12 of the transport container 10 is W1. The transport container 10 has a height equal to D2 without the cover 20, and a height equal to D3 with the cover 20. Thus, the debris placed within the transport container 10 can have a maximum height of D3. The support member(s) 34 can be in any configuration so long as it supports the cover 20 over the opening of the transport container 10. Note that the configuration of the support member(s) 34 will depend upon the configuration of the opening of the transport container 10. In some embodiments, the support members 34 form an X shape. In at least one embodiment, the support members 34 are parallel to one another.

In some embodiments, the support member(s) 34 are engaged to the top surface 12 of the transport container 10. In FIG. 4, the ends of the support member 34 are uneven so that a portion of the end of the support member 34 abuts the top surface 12 of the transport container 10 and a portion of the end of the support member 34 extends along a side (interior or exterior) of the transport container 10.

In at least one embodiment, the ends of the support member 34 and the top surface 12 of the transport container 10 fit together like a tongue and groove, where the end of the support member 34 is the “groove” and the top surface 12 of the transport container 10 is the “tongue”. In this embodiment, a first portion of the end of the support member 34 extends along the exterior side of the transport container 10, a second portion of the end of the support member 34 abuts the top surface 12 of the transport container 10 and a third portion of the end of the support member 34 extends along the interior side of the transport member 34.

The exterior surface of the cover 20 has at least one pocket 22 or window 22, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The pocket 22 or window 22 provides information about the contents of the container 10 either visually, in the case of the window 22, or by an informational card inserted into the pocket 22. Although the pocket/window 22 shown in the figures is substantially square in shape, the pocket/window 22 can have any configuration or shape, including, but not limited, to rectangular, triangular, or irregular shape. The pocket 22 has at least one opening through which an informational card may be placed into the pocket 22. The informational card may have data about the type of material within the transport container 10, the location of the proper disposal site for the material, or information about the disposal carrier for the material. For example, if the transport container 10 contains material made from asbestos, the informational card can have the appropriate warning, e.g. “asbestos—hazardous material”, and/or the location and/or the name of the appropriate disposal site or disposal carrier.

The window 22 is an opening in the cover 20 that is covered by a transparent material so that the contents of the transport container 10 can be viewed through the window 22. Similarly, the pocket 22 is preferably made from transparent material so that the informational card may be viewed through the pocket 22. In some embodiments, the informational card has data written on both sides of the card so that the information can be read from the inside of the cover 20. In this embodiment, if the cover 20 is inside out, the informational card can still be seen and read. In at least one embodiment, the cover 20 has a combination window 22/pocket 22 which can be used as a window 22 or alternatively as a pocket 22 with an informational card. In some embodiments, the informational card extends out of the pocket 22. In this embodiment, the pocket 22 need not be made from transparent material because the data can be written on the portion of the informational card that extends out from the pocket 22. Pockets can be placed around the cover 20 so that the informational card can be seen from different vantage points. Thus, it is within the scope of the invention for the cover 20 to have one, two, three, four, or more pockets 22. Each pocket 22 can have informational cards with the same information printed thereon or informational cards with different information printed thereon.

Other means to secure an informational card to the exterior surface of the cover 20 can be used. For example, an elastic band engaged to the exterior surface of the cover 20 can secure an informational card to the exterior surface of the cover 20. In this embodiment, the informational card has a first portion and a second portion. The elastic band extends over the first portion and the second portion has information printed thereon.

In at least one embodiment, the cover 20 has information printed directly onto a surface of the cover 20. Information that can be printed include, but is not limited to, the name of the company doing the renovation/demolition work, information about the contents of the transport container 10, advertising, and any combination of thereof. It is within the scope of the invention for the cover 20 to be any color(s). For example, if the company has a particular trademarked color scheme it can request the cover 20 to incorporate that color scheme.

This completes the description of the invention. Those skilled in the art may recognize other equivalents to the specific embodiment described herein which equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the claims attached hereto.





 
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