Title:
Waste can
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A receptacle for storing waste containing oil. The receptacle includes a container, having a body defining a storage area and a base having ventilation openings, a cover, and a lift assembly for moving the cover over a range of travel between a closed position and an open position. The lift mechanism includes a pivotable pedal, which is provided at the base of the receptacle body, a rotating drive, which is rotatably mounted to the base such that its ends extend therefrom with one end operably arranged with the pedal and the other end pivotally mounted to a lift member. The drive is rotatable in two opposing directions with the lift rod connected to the drive such that the lift member is either moving in a lift direction or a lowering direction when the drive is so rotating. The lift member having one end pivotally mounted to the second end of the drive and another end pivotally mounted to a hinged bracket. One part of the bracket is mounted to the receptacle and the other part of the bracket is mounted to the cover. The lift rod is connected to the portion of the hinged bracket that is also connected to the cover so that movement of the lift rod pivots the cover. The cover is movable between an open position and a closed position in response to movement of the pedal.



Inventors:
Carter, Glen Alan (Mattoon, IL, US)
Goddard, Mark T. (Charleston, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/593379
Publication Date:
05/08/2008
Filing Date:
11/06/2006
Assignee:
Justrite Manufacturing Company (Des Plaines, IL, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
49/236, 248/213.2
International Classes:
B65D43/26; A47B96/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, NIKI MARINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEYDIG VOIT & MAYER, LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A receptacle, comprising: a container having a sidewall, an open top and a bottom, the sidewall and the bottom defining a storage area; a base adjacent to the bottom of the container having a plurality of ventilation openings; a pedal pivotally mounted to the base; a drive member rotatably mounted to the base, the drive member having a shaft, a first end and a second end, the shaft defining a longitudinal axis, the first end axially offset from the longitudinal axis, the second end axially offset from the longitudinal axis, the first end of the drive member in operable arrangement with the pedal; a lift member, the lift member having a first end and a second end, the first end of the lift member pivotally mounted to the drive member adjacent the second end thereof; and a bracket having a fist portion mounted to the container and a second portion that is pivotally movable with respect to the first portion, the second portion being pivotally connected to the second end of the lift member; and a cover mounted to the second portion of the bracket such that the cover is movable by operation of the pedal over a range of travel between a closed position wherein the cover occludes the top of the container and an open position wherein the storage area of the container is accessible through the open top thereof.

2. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the cover includes a flange portion that overlaps a portion of the sidewall of the container when the cover is in the closed position.

3. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the pedal includes a bottom surface, the first end of the drive member includes a curved portion and an oblique portion, and the curved portion in engagement with a bottom surface of the pedal.

4. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the lift member includes a loop, and the second end of the drive member is pivotally mounted to the loop.

5. The receptacle of claim 4, wherein the lift member includes a hook disposed in opposing relationship to the loop thereof, and the hook of the lift member being pivotally connected to the second portion of the bracket.

6. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the bracket includes a stop configured to prevent the cover from opening beyond a predetermined pivot angle measured between the cover and the top of the container.

7. The receptacle of claim 6, wherein the pivot angle is about sixty degrees.

8. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the first and second portions of the bracket are pivotally mounted to each other via a handle such that the second portion of the bracket rotates about the handle.

9. The receptacle of claim 1, wherein the base includes a slot and an interior surface, and the pedal includes a securing projection having a resiliently flexible barb, the securing projection configured to extend through the slot and the barb configured to retentively engage the interior surface of the base.

10. A lift assembly for moving a cover of a receptacle between an open position and a closed position, the lift assembly comprising: a pedal; a rotating drive having a first end, a second end, and a main portion disposed therebetween, the first end operably arranged with the pedal, the main portion defining a drive axis, the first end and the second end being in offset relationship with the drive axis; a lift member disposed in non-parallel relationship with the drive axis, the lift member including a first end and a second end, the first end of the lift member pivotally connected to the second end of the drive; and a bracket, the bracket including a first portion and a second portion, the first and second portions being pivotable with respect to each other, the second end of the lift member being pivotally mounted to one of the first and second portions of the bracket.

11. The lift assembly of claim 10, wherein the pedal includes a bottom surface, the first end of the drive member includes a curved portion and an oblique portion, and the curved portion in engagement with a bottom surface of the pedal.

12. The lift assembly of claim 10, wherein the lift member includes a loop, and the second end of the drive member is pivotally mounted to the loop.

13. The lift assembly of claim 10, wherein the lift member includes a hook disposed in opposing relationship to the loop thereof, and the hook of the lift member being pivotally connected to the bracket.

14. The lift assembly of claim 10, wherein the bracket includes a stop configured to limit the relative movement of the first and second portions to a predetermined pivot angle.

15. The lift assembly of claim 10, wherein the first and second portions of the bracket are pivotally mounted to each other via a handle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Oils, solvents, thinners, combustible adhesives, and other flammable or toxic substances are commonly used in manufacturing, service, and other working environments. Often cloths, rags, brushes, and other materials are used to apply, remove, or otherwise control these flammable or toxic substances. After use, these cloths, rags, brushes, and other materials present serious fire and health risks when improperly discarded. Receptacles are often employed to store and transport the contaminated cloths, rags, brushes, and other materials. Such a receptacle often includes a cover to close off the storage area of the receptacle. The present invention is directed to such a receptacle.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a receptacle having a container and a cover pivotally mounted thereto and movable between a closed position and an open position via a lift mechanism. The container can include a body and a base. The body can include a sidewall, an open top and a bottom. The sidewall and the bottom can define a storage area accessible via the open top. A base can be disposed adjacent to the bottom of the container and have a plurality of ventilation openings in a sidewall thereof.

In one embodiment, the lift mechanism can include a pedal pivotally mounted to the base to allow a user to operate the lift mechanism by foot. A drive member can be provided that is rotatably mounted to the base. The drive member can have a shaft, a first end and a second end. The shaft can define a longitudinal axis with the first end and the second end axially offset from the longitudinal axis. The first end of the drive member can be in operable arrangement with the pedal.

A lift member can be provided that has a first end and a second end. The first end of the lift member can be pivotally mounted to the drive member adjacent the second end thereof. A bracket can be provided that has a fist portion mounted to the container and a second portion that is pivotally movable with respect to the first portion. The second portion of the bracket can be pivotally connected to the second end of the lift member.

A cover can be mounted to the second portion of the bracket such that the cover is movable by operation of the pedal over a range of travel between a closed position wherein the cover occludes the top of the container and an open position wherein the storage area of the container is accessible through the open top thereof.

In another embodiment of the invention, a lift assembly can be provided for moving a cover of a receptacle between an open position and a closed position. The lift assembly can include a pedal, a rotating drive operably arranged with the pedal, a lift member operably arrange with the drive member, and a bracket operably arranged with the lift rod. The rotating drive can have a first end, a second end, and a main portion disposed therebetween defining a drive axis. The first end can be operably arranged with a bottom surface of the pedal The first end and the second end can be in offset relationship with the drive axis.

The lift member can be disposed in non-parallel relationship with the drive axis. The lift member can include a first end and a second end. The first end of the lift member can be pivotally connected to the second end of the drive. The bracket can include a first portion and a second portion which are pivotally movable with respect to each other. The second end of the lift member can be pivotally mounted to one of the first and second portions of the bracket. The bracket can include a stop to limit the relative pivotal movement of the first and second portions thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a waste can in accordance with the present invention, having a foot-operated cover shown in an open position.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the waste can of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the waste can of FIG. 1 with the cover shown in a closed position.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a foot pedal suitable for use with the waste can of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the waste can of FIG. 1 with the cover shown in the closed position.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the waste can of FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a lift system in accordance with the present invention, having a foot pedal shown in a fully-depressed position.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the lift system of FIG. 9 with the foot pedal shown in a normal position.

FIG. 11 is a bottom view of the waste can of FIG. 1 with the cover shown in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Now referring to the drawings, wherein like numbers refer to like elements, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a waste can 100 constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. The waste can 100 can receive and store oil-soaked waste material and other refuse, such as, cloths, rags, brushes, and other materials used to apply, remove, or otherwise control flammable or toxic substances, for example. In other embodiments, the waste can 100 can be of various sizes and colors. For example, a plurality of waste cans 100 can be provided that each have a different color as part of a color-coding plan with each color serving to act as an identifier for a predetermined function and/or location, for example. In one embodiment, the respective colors can signal that the particular waste can is intended to store a certain type of waste material and/or to be located at a particular location of a site in which the waste cans are used. In other embodiments, the color of the waste can may be used as an identifier to signal the hazardous nature of the materials stored therein and to help the waste can be more visible to personnel at the site. For example, the waste can 100 can be bright red or yellow to signal flammable materials are intended to be stored therein.

FIGS. 1-4, 6-8, and 11 illustrate an embodiment of a waste can 100 according to the present invention that includes a container 101, having a body portion 102 and a base portion 106, and a cover 104 pivotally mounted to the container 101 and movable via a lift assembly 142 between an open position, as shown in FIG. 1, and a closed position, as shown in FIG. 4. The waste can 100 may be made of any suitable material such as one known in the art as being suitable for storing flammable or toxic substances. For example, the container and the cover 104 of the waste can 100 may be constructed of lead-free, galvanized steel having a powder-coat paint finish. It should be appreciated that the waste can 100 may be constructed of any other suitable steel. The waste can 100 may be coated or painted with any suitable coating or paint known in the art.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the body portion 102 includes a generally cylindrical sidewall 108, a bottom end 110, and a top end 112 that cooperate together to define a receptacle area 116. The top end 112 can be in the form of a flanged rim that defines an opening 114 for access to the interior receptacle area 116. Although the illustrated embodiment includes a body portion in the shape of a cylinder, in other embodiments, the body portion 102 can take the form of other shapes. For example, the body portion 102 can be generally rectangular, square, or ovular. The body portion can include a reinforcing rib 113 or ribs to strengthen the body portion 102. In use, the waste material can be deposited through the opening 114 to the interior receptacle area 116 of the container 101 where it is safely stored.

The cover 104 is hingedly connected to the top end 112 of the body portion 102. The cover 104 of the illustrated embodiment is shown as being generally circular in configuration such that it corresponds to the shape of the body portion 102. Referring to FIG. 4, the cover 104 includes a top 118 and a flange 120 depending from the perimeter of the top 118. The flange 120 is adapted to fit around the outer periphery of the top end 112 of the body portion 102. Accordingly, when the cover is in the closed position, the flange 120 of the cover 104 overlaps the top end 112 of the body portion 102 to provide an effective closure of the opening to the interior receptacle area. In some embodiments, the top end 112 of the body portion and the flange 120 of the cover 104 can be configured such that there is an interference fit between them to help further secure the cover 104 to the container 101.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the base portion 106 is contiguous to the bottom end 110 of the body portion 102. The base portion 106 of the illustrated embodiment is shown as being generally cylindrical in configuration such that it corresponds to the shape of the body portion 102. The base portion 106 includes a base rim 122 and a connecting rim 124 with a cylindrical sidewall 125 extending therebetween. The connecting rim 124 is contiguous with the bottom end 110 of the body portion 102. The base rim 122 of the base portion 106 can include a stabilizing flange 126. The stabilizing flange 126 can extend radially outwardly from the sidewall 125 of the base portion to provide further support to the waste can 100 to help prevent the tipping of the waste can 100. The sidewall 125 of the base portion 106 can include a plurality of ventilation openings 128 for promoting air circulation underneath the receptacle area of the body portion 102. This air circulation can disperse heat, reduce moisture buildup, and prevent rust. In the embodiment of the waste can 100 illustrated in FIG. 3, the sidewall 108 of the body portion 102 and the sidewall 125 of the base portion 106 are integrally formed with each other such that the sidewalls 108, 125 have a unitary construction. In other embodiments, the sidewall 108, 125 can be constructed from multiple pieces.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, the sidewall 125 of the base portion 106 includes a pedal mounting location 130. The pedal mounting location 130 is adapted to receive a pedal 132 such that the pedal is pivotally movable between a normal position, shown in FIG. 4, and a fully-depressed position, shown in FIG. 3, to operate the lift assembly 142, thereby moving the cover from the closed position to the open position.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, the pedal mounting location 130 is configured to receive a pair of resiliently flexible securing projections 134 extending from the pedal 132. Each securing projection 134 includes a movable barb 136 configured to flex to allow the securing projection to enter the pedal mounting location 130 and, upon entry, return to its normal position so as to retentively engage the interior surface of the sidewall 125 of the base portion 106 to secure the pedal 132 to the base portion 106. The barbs 136 of the securing projections 134 enable quick and positive attachment of the foot pedal 132 to the container 101. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, the pedal 132 is movable, relative to the base portion 106, in an operating direction 138 to open the cover 104 and a returning direction 140 when the cover 104 returns from the open position to the closed position.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 7 and 8-11, the lift system 142 can be configured to move the cover 104 in an opening direction 144 from the closed position to an open position when the pedal 132 moves in the operating direction 138 by application of an operating force thereto. The linkage system 142 can be configured to allow the cover 104 to move in a closing direction 146 from the open position to the closed position when the pedal 132 moves in the direction 140 once the operating force is removed therefrom.

Referring to FIG. 3, the lift system 142 includes the pedal 132, a cam-action drive rod 148 pivotally mounted to the base portion 106 of the container 101 and operatively arranged with the pedal 132, a vertical lift rod 150 pivotally mounted to the drive rod 148, and a pivotally movable bracket 152 mounted to the lift rod 150 and to the body portion 102 of the container 101 adjacent the top end 112 thereof and the cover 104 to act as the hinged connection between the cover 104 and the container 101. The cam-action drive rod 148 extends through the base portion 106 such that offset first and second ends 149, 151 thereof extend a predetermined distance from the sidewall 125 of the base portion 106. The drive rod 148 can extend through a pair of opening in the sidewall 125 of the base 106. In other embodiments, bushings can be provided to facilitate the support provided by the base to the drive rod.

Referring to FIGS. 9-11, the first and second cam ends 149, 151 are axially offset from a drive axis defined by the main portion of the drive rod 148 and about which the drive rod is rotatable. The first cam end 149 includes an oblique portion 154 and a generally curved portion 156, and the second cam end 151 includes a perpendicular portion 170 and a parallel portion 172. As shown in FIG. 11, the oblique portion 154 of the first end 149 of the drive rod 148 is disposed at an oblique angle 164 with respect to the main portion thereof. The generally curved portion 156 of the first cam end is in operative engagement with a bottom surface 158 of the pedal 132. The parallel portion 172 of the second end 151 of the drive rod 148 is movably connected to the lift rod 150 such that the parallel portion 172 can rotate with respect to the lift rod 150.

Referring to FIG. 9, when the pedal 132 moves in the operating direction 138 upon application of a predetermined lifting force thereto, the bottom surface 158 of the pedal 132 interacts with the generally curved portion 156 so as to move the generally curved portion 156, and the oblique portion 154 connected thereto, in the operating direction 138. The movement of the oblique portion 154 in the operating direction 138 in turn rotates the remainder of the cam-action drive rod 148 in an opening direction 160. Referring to FIG. 8, the parallel portion 174 of the second end 151 of the cam-action drive rod 148 rotates in the opening direction 160 to thereby move the lift rod 150 in a lift direction 176 to open the cover 104. The cover can be maintained in the open position while a sufficient force is applied to the pedal.

Referring to FIG. 10, when the lifting force is removed from the pedal 132, the cover falls toward the closed position. In response to the movement of the cover, the lift rod 150 moves in a closing direction 178 which in turn causes the cam-action drive rod 148 to rotate in a return direction 162. The generally curved portion 156 and the oblique portion 154 of the first end 149 of the drive rod 148 move along with the rest of the drive rod 148 and act against the pedal 132 to move it in the return direction 140.

Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, the vertical lift rod 150 includes a bottom cam end 166 for connecting to the drive rod 148 and a top end 168 for connecting to the bracket 152. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the top end 168 includes a second oblique portion 171 and a hook 173 for connection to the bracket 152. The bottom cam end 166 includes a loop 174 for receiving therethrough the parallel portion 172 of the second cam end 151 of the cam-action drive rod 148.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the bracket 152 includes a fixed portion 180 that is generally U-shaped and includes a pair of openings 184 respectively disposed on one of a pair of projecting legs 185 of the fixed portion 180. The fixed portion 180 includes an intermediate member 187 from which the legs 185 extend. The intermediate member 187 can be contoured to substantially correspond to the shape of the sidewall of the body portion of the container. The bracket 152 can include a pivoting portion 182 having a pair of openings 186 that respectively align with the openings 184 of the fixed portion 180. As shown in FIG. 8, a handle 193 constructed from a formed rod includes a pair of ends that respectively extend through the aligned openings 184, 186 of the fixed portion 180 and the pivoting portion 182 to thereby pivotally mount the pivoting portion 182 to the fixed portion 180 for relative pivotal movement between the pivoting portion 182 and the fixed portion 180. In addition to pivotally connecting the fixed portion 180 to the pivoting portion 182, the handle 193 can function as a means for transporting the waste can 100. A user or a machine can grip the handle 193 to readily transport the waste can 100. In other embodiments, the pivoting portion can be pivotally mounted to the fixed portion by other known techniques.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the pivoting portion 182 of the bracket 152 can include a pair of stops 183 configured to prevent the pivoting portion 182 from pivoting beyond a predetermined pivot angle. For example, when the cover 104 is connected to the pivoting portion 182, as discussed below, the stops 183 can be configured so as to prevent the cover 104 from opening beyond a pivot angle 187 of sixty degrees (FIG. 3), measured between the planes defined by the top portion 112 of the body 102 and the distal end of the flange 120 of the cover 104, for example. As such, when the cover 104 is in the fully-open position as shown in FIG. 3, the pivot angle 187 is at its maximum. When the operating force is removed from the pedal 132, the weight of the cover 104 is sufficient to automatically return the cover 104 to the closed position and in turn move the lift assembly 142 back to its normal position, as shown in FIG. 7.

In other embodiments, the pivot angle can be different than sixty degrees. For example, in other embodiments, the pivot angle can be anywhere between about forty-five degrees and about eighty-five degrees. In still other embodiments, the pivot angle can be any angle in which the weight of the cover is still sufficient to automatically return the to the closed position upon removing the operating force from the pedal. In yet other embodiments, the pivot angle can be different. In still other embodiments, the waste can may include a closing actuator, such as a spring or hydraulic cylinder, for example, that urges the cover to the closed position such that pivot angles greater than ninety degrees can be used and still incorporate an automatic closing feature.

The pivoting portion 182 includes a connecting member 188 that extends in an outward direction. The connecting member 188 includes an opening 190 for receiving therethrough the hook 173 of the top end 168 of the vertical lift bar 150. Accordingly, the pivoting portion 182 moves in response to movement of the vertical lift bar 150. When the vertical lift bar 150 moves in the direction 178, the pivoting portion 182 moves in a direction 192, as shown in FIG. 7. When the vertical lift bar 150 moves in the direction 176, the pivoting portion 182 moves in a direction 196, as shown in FIG. 3. As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the fixed portion 180 of the bracket 152 is connected to a location proximate to the top end 112 of the body portion 102, and the pivoting portion 182 of the bracket 152 is connected to the flange 120 of the cover 104.

In operation, when a user applies a sufficient operating force, via his foot, for example, the pedal 132 moves in the direction 138, which in turn causes the bottom portion 158 of the pedal 132 to interact with the generally curved portion 156 of the first cam end 149 of the cam-action drive rod 148 to rotate the drive rod 148 in the direction 160. The parallel portion 172 of the second cam end 151 moves in the direction 176, which in turn causes the vertical lift rod 150 to move in the direction 176. The connection between the connecting member 188 and the lift rod 150 causes the pivoting portion 182 of the bracket 152 to rotate in the direction 196, as shown in FIG. 3. As a result, the cover 104, which is connected to the pivoting portion 182, moves in the direction 144 from the closed position to the open position.

Likewise, when a user removes the operating force from the pedal 132, the weight of the cover 104 urges the cover to move from the open position in which it is toward the closed position, thereby causing the pivoting portion 182 of the bracket to rotate with it in the direction 192, as shown in FIG. 7. The connection of the connecting member 188 of the pivoting portion 182 and the hook 173 of the lift rod 150 causes the lift rod to move in the direction 178, which in turn causes the parallel portion 172 of the second end 151 of the drive rod 148 to rotate in the direction 162. As a result, the cam-action drive rod 148 rotates in the same direction 162, thereby causing the curved portion 156 of the first cam end 149 of the cam-action drive rod 148 to urge the pedal 132 upward in the direction 140 toward its normal position with the cover 104 closed.

All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

The use of the terms “a” and “an” and “the” and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.