Title:
TRASH RECEPTACLE GUIDE AND PROTECTOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A trash receptacle guide and protector having a scoop and a flange, the scoop having a convex side, the flange secured on the convex side of the scoop perpendicular to the scoop ending in an upturned lip, whereby the guide and protector can be secured to a trash receptacle and facilitate emptying by a) the scoop operating as a guide for trash, and b) the flange and lip engaging the edge of the container the trash is being emptied into.



Inventors:
Connor, John T. (Webster, NH, US)
Application Number:
11/759379
Publication Date:
04/17/2008
Filing Date:
06/07/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/42
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRADEN, SHAWN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MESMER & DELEAULT, PLLC (Manchester, NH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A trash receptacle guide and protector apparatus comprising: a scoop having a convex side; and a flange secured on the convex side of the scoop substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the scoop terminating in an upturned lip, whereby the guide and protector can be secured to a trash receptacle and facilitate emptying by a) the scoop operating as a guide for trash, and b) the flange and lip engaging the edge of the container the trash is being emptied into.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the upturned lip is perpendicular to the plane of the flange.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a bracket configured for securing the scoop to a trash receptacle lip.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, the scoop comprising: a scoop upper portion; a scoop shelf perpendicular to the axis of the scoop upper portion and extending opposite of the convex side; and a scoop lower portion perpendicular to the scoop shelf, whereby the apparatus is configured to be coupled with a trash receptacle by placing the scoop shelf on the receptacle lip with the scoop lower portion inside the receptacle.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein the scoop shelf is as wide as a trash receptacle lip.

6. The apparatus of claim 4, the scoop lower portion comprising a recess configured to straddle a raised portion on the inside of a trash receptacle.

7. The apparatus of claim 4 further comprising a bracket configured for securing the scoop to a trash receptacle lip, the bracket comprising: a bracket upper portion; a bracket shelf perpendicular to the bracket upper; and a bracket lower portion perpendicular to the bracket shelf, whereby the bracket upper portion is configured to be coupled with the scoop upper portion convex side, the bracket lower portion is configured to be coupled with the scoop lower portion but outside the trash receptacle, and the receptacle lip is sandwiched between the scoop shelf and bracket shelf.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, the scoop further comprising an end that is curved outward.

9. A trash receptacle guide and protector apparatus comprising: a trash receptacle; a scoop coupled with the trash receptacle, the scoop having a convex side; and a flange secured on the convex side of the scoop substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the scoop terminating in an upturned lip.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 further comprising a handle secured beneath the flange, whereby the flange protects a user's hand on the handle.

11. A trash receptacle apparatus comprising: a receptacle; and a handle coupled with the receptacle, the handle comprising: a handle cover and; a grasping member secured beneath the handle cover, whereby a user's hand grasping the grasping member is protected by the handle cover.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 further comprising an upturned lip coupled with the handle cover for engaging a trash container and protecting a user's hand.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The invention is in the field of trash containers.

2. Description of the Related Art

The typical trash receptacle is barrel-shaped and has two opposing handles near an open end, which is the top of the trash receptacle, which will hereinafter be called a “receptacle.” When the receptacle is being emptied, a user must lift the weight of the receptacle and trash to the height of the lip of the container into which it is being emptied, which will hereinafter be called a “container.” Often, those containers are rectangular bins or dumpsters that have straight edges.

In general, it is difficult for a person to handle a heavy load consisting of trash and a receptacle. The user cannot precisely place the edge of the barrel-shaped receptacle on the edge of the larger container so that none of the trash falls outside the container and the receptacle does not fall into the container. Furthermore, the user risks injuring his or her hands and back if the receptacle is not handled precisely.

What is needed, therefore, is a trash receptacle guide and protector that facilitates emptying by placing the receptacle in a precise location relative to the container and protects the user's hands.

SUMMARY

The invention is a trash receptacle guide/protector that satisfies these needs. The trash receptacle guide and protector of the present invention comprises a scoop having a convex side, and a flange secured on the convex side of the scoop substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the scoop terminating in an upturned lip, whereby the guide and protector can be secured to a trash receptacle and facilitate emptying by a) the scoop operating as a guide for trash, and b) the flange and lip engaging the edge of the container the trash is being emptied into. These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following drawings, description, and claim.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an orthogonal view of a guide/protector according to the present invention secured to a receptacle.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of a guide/protector according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the guide/protector.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the guide/protector in operation.

FIG. 5 is an orthogonal view of another embodiment of a guide/protector according to the present invention formed integrally with the receptacle.

FIG. 6 is an orthogonal view of another embodiment of the present invention having a locking point on the handle and no guide/protector.

FIG. 7 is an orthogonal view of another embodiment of the present invention having a protective handle but no guide/protector or locking point.

DESCRIPTION

Turning to FIG. 1, the trash receptacle guide and protector 100 of the present invention comprises a scoop 102 having a convex side 108, and a flange 104 secured on the convex side of the scoop substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the scoop terminating in an upturned lip 106, whereby the guide and protector 100 can be secured to a trash receptacle 110 and facilitate emptying by a) the scoop operating as a guide for trash, and b) the flange and lip engaging the edge of a container the trash is being emptied into.

The scoop 100 has a scoop upper portion 103, a scoop lower portion 107, and preferably a scoop shelf 105. The scoop shelf 105 is perpendicular to the axis of the scoop upper portion 103. The scoop lower portion 107 is perpendicular to the scoop shelf 105. The scoop shelf 105 can be as wide as a trash receptacle lip 111 on the trash receptacle 110.

The guide/protector 100 can be provided as an integral unit with a new trash receptacle 110 in one embodiment. In another embodiment, the guide/protector can be provided as an aftermarket accessory. To secure the guide/receptacle 100 to the receptacle 110, a pair of brackets 112 can be provided that secure on the outside of the scoop 102. The bracket 112 can be secured using fastening means 114 such as screws, bolts, rivets, snaps, clamps, brazing, soldering, or welding. To operate as an effective protector, the invention should be mounted over or very near the receptacle handle.

The bracket 112 has a bracket upper portion 115, a bracket shelf 117, and a bracket lower portion 119. The bracket shelf 117 is perpendicular to the bracket upper portion 115. The bracket lower portion 119 is perpendicular to the bracket shelf 117. The bracket shelf 117 can be as wide as a trash receptacle lip 111 on the trash receptacle 110. Configured this way, the bracket 112 and scoop 102 can sandwich the receptacle lip 111, thereby providing a great deal of stability.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the guide/protector 100 showing details of the scoop 102 and preferred locations of the fastening means 114. The fastening means can be applied in other locations as well. In one embodiment, the scoop lower portion 107 can be provided with a recess 109 that straddles a raised portion 113 on the inside of the receptacle 110. The raised portion 113 on the inside is a recess on the outside where a handle is often placed. The scoop 102 is secured here because the structure is strong in this area, and help balances the load for the user.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the scoop showing details of the flange 104 and upturned lip 106 secured to the convex side 108 of the scoop. The recess 109 adjacent to the flange 104 is sized to fit a raised portion in the receptacle.

FIG. 4 shows the guide/protector in operation. A user can lift the receptacle 110 by its handle 124. The spout 102, flange 104, and upturned lip 106 form a guide that is sufficiently large that it does not have to be placed near a container 116 with precision. The receptacle 110 is easily located on the container 116, and trash is guided out into the container by the spout 102. The flange 104 and upturned lip 106 also protect the user's hand from injury by contact with the edge of the container 116.

FIG. 5 is an orthogonal view of a different embodiment of the same invention. In this embodiment, the guide/protector 100 is formed as an integral part of the receptacle 110. The brackets 112 of the alternative embodiment are not needed, provided the guide/protector is formed with sufficient stiffness. Details of the handle 124 are shown, clearly indicating how the flange 104 protects the hand of the user.

FIG. 5 also shows alternative configurations for the spout 122, and its outside surface 118. Notice that the end of the spout 122 is curved outward. Another alternative upturned lip 120 is shown, in which the lip is upturned approximately perpendicular to the plane of the flange 104. The result is improved safety, greater ease of use, and less trash missing the container when using either embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows another embodiment where there is no guide/protector, but a handle 126 is provided with an upturned lip 128 to protect the user's hand. The upturned lip 128 would contact the edge of a container and prevent the user's hand from being sliding against it. The user would grasp a member 130 that is located below a handle cover 132. In this embodiment, the upturned lip 128 is analogous to 120 in the previous drawings, and the handle cover 132 is analogous to the flange 104.

FIG. 7 is a variation of the handle 126 from FIG. 6, except that it is not provided with an upturned lip 128. Nonetheless, the handle 126 protects the hand with the handle cover 132.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described herein, the above description is merely illustrative. Further modification of the invention herein disclosed will occur to those skilled in the respective arts and all such modifications are deemed to be within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.