Title:
EASY ACCESS REFUSE CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A refuse container which may be worn by a user and into which small refuse items can be inserted for temporary storage for later disposal using a single finger, is described. A hollow body and an open screw cap cooperate to hold a deformable septum having a slit or perforation such that small items may easily be inserted into the body through the slit wherein they are securely enclosed until the body is detached from the cap. The refuse contents can then be disposed of in an acceptable manner.



Inventors:
Thrapp, Stephen R. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/428730
Publication Date:
01/10/2008
Filing Date:
07/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D73/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PICKETT, JOHN G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COCHRAN FREUND & YOUNG LLC (FORT COLLINS, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A refuse container comprising in combination: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, an inner surface and an outer surface, the open end of said body terminating in a substantially flat surface and the outer surface being threaded in the vicinity of the open end of said body; an open cap having one flanged end having a substantially flat inner surface, said cap having a threaded interior surface adapted such that said body can be screwed into the threaded surface of said cap; and a deformable septum having a slit therethrough through which refuse can be inserted, adapted to be disposed between the substantially flat surface of said body and the substantially flat inner surface of the flange of said cap.

2. The refuse container of claim 1, further comprising attachment means for attaching said cap to another object.

3. The refuse container of claim 1, wherein said septum comprises a circumferential rib.

4. The refuse container of claim 3, wherein said cap has a groove on the interior surface thereof extending from the flat inner surface thereof such that said septum is retained by said cap when said body is detached therefrom.

5. The refuse container of claim 1, wherein said body is a cylindrical body and said cap is an annular-shaped cap.

6. The refuse container of claim 5, wherein the flange of said annular-shaped cap has a funnel-shape.

7. The refuse container of claim 1, wherein the slit through said septum has a shape selected from the group consisting of lines, crosses and “x”s.

8. The refuse container of claim 1, wherein the inner surface of said body in the vicinity of the closed end thereof is a curved surface.

9. The refuse container of claim 1, wherein said septum has a planar cross section.

10. The refuse container of claim 1, wherein said septum has a curved cross section.

11. A refuse container comprising in combination: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, an inner surface and an outer surface, a flange having a substantially flat first surface on the side thereof which forms the open end of said body and a second surface which forms one side of a groove disposed on the outer surface of said body, the flange having at least two opposing notches therein; an open cap having a flanged end having a substantially flat inner surface, said cap having an interior surface having at least two opposing projections disposed such that the at least two projections engage the at least two opposing notches in the flange of said body in such a manner that the projections are reversibly held in the groove of said body when the open end of said body is pushed onto the open end of said cap and twisted; and a deformable septum having a slit therethrough through which refuse can be inserted, adapted to be disposed between the substantially flat surface of said body and the substantially flat inner surface of the flange of said cap.

12. The refuse container of claim 11, further comprising attachment means for attaching said cap to another object.

13. The refuse container of claim 11, wherein said septum comprises a circumferential rib.

14. The refuse container of claim 13, wherein said cap has a groove on the interior surface thereof extending from the flat inner surface thereof such that said septum is retained by said cap when said body is detached therefrom.

15. The refuse container of claim 11, wherein said body is a cylindrical body and said cap is an annular-shaped cap.

16. The refuse container of claim 15, wherein the flange of said annular-shaped cap has a funnel-shape.

17. The refuse container of claim 11, wherein the slit through said septum has a shape selected from the group consisting of lines, crosses and “x”s.

18. The refuse container of claim 11, wherein the inner surface of said body in the vicinity of the closed end thereof is a curved surface.

19. The refuse container of claim 11, wherein said septum has a planar cross section.

20. The refuse container of claim 11, wherein said septum has a curved cross section.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to containers and, more particularly, to a refuse container which may be worn by the user and into which refuse may be securely introduced using a single finger.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Fishermen regularly generate waste refuse leader and other line in the course of fishing activities as a result of knots or tangles forming therein, as an example. Because of the difficulty in undoing such knots or tangles, the unusable leader is often cut free from the remainder of the leader and the fly or lure reattached to an unknotted portion thereof or the leader is retied. Attempts to place the resulting waste leader into a vest or jacket pocket using wet hands or under in windy or otherwise inclement conditions often results in the refuse line being dropped or blown away. Such refuse line is harmful to fish and other wildlife, particularly waterfowl, when left in remote areas.

Environmentally conscious fishermen and other outdoorsmen may also wish to pick up for later disposal other refuse items, such as cigarette butts, chewing gum, candy wrappers, and the like discarded by others, without soiling the pockets of fishing vests or other outdoor apparel.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a container which can be used to readily store fishing and other refuse until it can be safely disposed of.

Another object of the invention is to provide a container which can be used to readily store fishing and other refuse until it can be safely disposed of, such that the refuse may be introduced into the container using a single finger.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a container which can be used to readily store fishing and other refuse until it can be safely disposed of, such that the container may be conveniently worn by the user thereof.

Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description that follows, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To achieve the foregoing and other objects, and in accordance with the purposes of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the refuse container hereof includes: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, an inner surface and an outer surface, the open end of the body terminating in a substantially flat surface and the outer surface being threaded in the vicinity of the open end of the body; an open cap having one flanged end having a substantially flat inner surface, the cap having a threaded interior surface adapted such that the body can be screwed into the threaded surface of the cap; and a deformable septum having a slit therethrough through which refuse can be inserted, adapted to be disposed between the substantially flat surface of the body and the substantially flat inner surface of the flange of the cap.

In another aspect of the present invention, in accordance with its objects and purposes, the refuse container hereof includes: a hollow body having an open end and a closed end, an inner surface and an outer surface, a flange having a substantially flat first surface on the side thereof which forms the open end of the body and a second surface which forms one side of a groove disposed on the outer surface of the body, the flange having at least two opposing notches therein; an open cap having a flanged end having a substantially flat inner surface, the cap having an interior surface having at least two opposing projections disposed such that the at least two projections engage the at least two opposing notches in the flange of the body in such a manner that the projections are reversibly held in the groove of the body when the open end of the body is pushed onto the open end of said cap and twisted; and a deformable septum having a slit therethrough through which refuse can be inserted, adapted to be disposed between the substantially flat surface of the body and the substantially flat inner surface of the flange of the cap.

Benefits and advantages of the present invention include, but are not limited to, an apparatus which can be worn by a user and into which small refuse items can be inserted for temporary storage for later disposal using a single finger.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the apparatus of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1A is a schematic representation of an exploded projection view of the refuse container of the present invention showing a cylindrical body, a split-opening septum or diaphragm, a cap adapted to be screwed onto a threaded portion at the open end of the body, and a split ring for attachment to a zipper, tab, D-ring, and the like, FIG. 1B is a schematic representation an exploded projection view of the refuse container shown in FIG. 1A hereof, illustrating a septum having a cut or split in the shape of a cross or an “x”, and the container body having a rounded interior at the closed end thereof, FIG. 1C is a schematic representation of an exploded projection view of another embodiment of the refuse container of the present invention, illustrating the septum having a modified nipple shape with a x-shaped cut therein, with the cap being adapted to be attached to the body using a twist-lock attachment mechanism, and FIG. 1D is a schematic representation of a side view of the refuse container shown in FIG. 1C hereof.

FIG. 2A is a schematic representation of a projection view of the assembled refuse container of the present invention shown in FIG. 1A hereof, while FIG. 2B is a schematic representation of a projection view of a screw embodiment of the cap, showing an upturned portion thereof for attaching the split ring such that the refuse container may be positioned more closely to the user thereof.

FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of a side view one embodiment of the manner in which the septum may be supported between the cylindrical body and the cap of the refuse container, and the reversible retention of the ribbed or bulbous circumference of the septum by the cap in a groove adapted for this purpose.

FIG. 4A is a schematic representation of a side view of another embodiment of the present invention, illustrating a cap having a funnel-shaped opening for facilitating introduction of refuse into the container body through the septum or diaphragm, while FIG. 4B is a schematic representation of a projection view of the refuse container shown in FIG. 4A hereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the present invention includes a refuse container which may be worn by a user and into which small refuse items can be inserted for temporary storage for later disposal using a single finger. A hollow body and an open cap cooperate to hold a deformable septum or diaphragm having a slit or perforation such that small items can easily be inserted into the cylindrical body through the slit wherein they are securely enclosed until the body is removed from the cap and septum which remain attached to the zipper, tab, ring, or D-ring, and the like. The refuse contents can then be disposed of in an acceptable manner.

Reference will now be made in detail to the present embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, similar or identical structure is identified using identical callouts. Turning now to the FIGURES, FIG. 1A is a schematic representation of an exploded projection view of refuse container, 10, of the present invention showing a cylindrical body, 12, having closed end, 14, open end, 16, and threaded portion, 18, on the outer surface thereof in the vicinity of open end, 16. Open cylindrical cap, 20, is interiorly threaded, 22, such that cap 20 may be screwed onto cylindrical body 12. Cylindrical body 12 and cap 20 may be constructed from moldable rigid plastics, or metals. Substantially flat interior portion, 24, of flange, 26, of cap 20 is adapted to reversibly affix septum, diaphragm or wafer, 28, by means of a circumferential rib or bulbous portion or other stiffening portion, 30, against substantially flat portion, 32, at open end 16 of body 12 when cap 20 is screwed onto body 12, as will be described in more detail hereinbelow. Septum, 28, includes slit, cut or perforation, 34, therethrough adapted for inserting small objects into the interior, 36, of body 12, using a finger or other elongated object, while preventing such objects from exiting body 12 once the finger or other elongated body is removed therefrom and the perforation reforms unbroken surface, 38, of septum 28. Septum 28 may be made from polyethylene, neoprene or other soft, but resilient material.

Cap 20 may further include hole, 40, in an extended portion, 43, thereof, for attaching a carrying mechanism, such as metal or plastic split ring or caribiner, 42, or other device to the cap. This permits refuse container 10 to be attached to a zipper pull or D-ring or other attachment hardware on a fishing vest of a user, or to a belt loop of the user, as examples, for easy access. It should be mentioned that it may be advantageous to attach the present refuse container to a personal water craft.

FIG. 1B is a schematic representation of refuse container 10 shown in FIG. 1A hereof, illustrating septum 28 having slit, cut or perforation, 34, therethrough in the shape of a cross or “x”, and body 12 having rounded, closed end 14 with rounded interior portion, 44.

FIG. 1C is a schematic representation of an exploded projection view of another embodiment of present refuse container 10, illustrating septum 28 having a modified nipple-shaped or concave surface, 38, with “x” shaped slit or cut 34 therein. Cap 20 is adapted to be attached to body 12 using a twist-lock attachment mechanism. Projections, 45a and 45b, are disposed in interior portion, 46, of cap 20. Recesses, 48a and 48b in flange 50 formed in outer surface, 51, of body 12 are adapted to receive projections 45a and 45b such that cap 20 may be captured in groove, 52, when projections 45a and 45b are inserted into recesses 48a and 48b, respectively, as a result of body 12 being inserted into cap 20 and turned in either direction. Groove 52 may be tapered such that projections 45a and 45b are reversibly trapped as body 12 is turned, or a stop (not shown in FIG. 1C) may be provided to prevent a 180° turn of the body. As will be described hereinbelow, septum 28 remains with cap 20 when body 12 is removed therefrom.

FIG. 1D is a schematic representation of a side view of the assembled refuse container shown in exploded view in FIG. 1C hereof. Other means for attaching body 12 to cap 20 may also be envisioned.

FIG. 2A is a schematic representation of a projection view of the assembled refuse container 10 of the present invention shown in FIG. 1A hereof, while FIG. 2B is a schematic representation of a projection view of a screw embodiment of cap 20, showing an upturned extended portion 43 for attaching split ring 42 such that the refuse container may be positioned more closely to the user thereof.

FIG. 3 is a schematic representation of a side view of a screw-on embodiment of the present invention illustrating the manner in which septum 28 may be supported by body and cap 20 of refuse container 10. Shown, is rib or bulbous portion 30 of septum 28 being wedged between inner surface 24 of flange 26 of cap 20 and substantially flat, top surface 32 of body 12, for support. Pocket or channel, 54, formed in cap 20 captures septum 28 such that when body 12 is detached from cap 20, septum 28 remains with cap 20. However, the present apparatus permits septum 28 to be readily removed from cap 20 for replacement.

FIG. 4A is a schematic representation of a side view of an embodiment of the present invention where funnel-shaped opening, 56, formed by tapered wall, 58, of the interior portion of flange 26 of cap 20, is formed for facilitating introduction of refuse into the container body through the septum or diaphragm, while FIG. 4B is a schematic representation of a projection view of the refuse container shown in FIG. 4A hereof.

In operation, a piece of waste leader or other refuse is inserted through split 34 in septum 28 and into interior 36 of the container by using a finger, a pencil or other stiff object to force open slit or perforation 34, after which the finger or other stiff object is removed from the opening and the slit or perforation is allowed to close, thereby securely trapping the refuse material for later disposal. With container 10 being attached to a vest or other garment, this operation may be performed using a single digit from one hand. Container 10 may be emptied at any time by unscrewing or otherwise detaching body 12 from cap 20, and the contents simply removed therefrom. As mentioned hereinabove, body 12 may be fabricated such that interior 36 terminates in rounded portion 44 on the inside of the body from closed end 14. If the approximate length of cylindrical body 12 between open end 16 and closed end 14 is that of an average adult finger, and the interior of the body is rounded, refuse removal therefrom may be facilitated by using a finger. Clearly, depending on the use intended and the intended location, the refuse container of the present invention may be fabricated in a variety of sizes and shapes.

The foregoing description of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto.





 
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