Title:
HORIZONTAL YARD WASTE COLLECTION BAG OR CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable container for disposing of yard debris. The container has a containment area defined by a sidewall. The containment area has a volume for storing waste yard debris. The container has an opening for accessing the containment area. The container has a flap adjacent the opening. The flap joins a base surface to the opening wherein the yard debris traverses along the flap to reach the opening and the containment area.



Inventors:
Kordecki, John R. (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/939967
Publication Date:
05/15/2008
Filing Date:
11/14/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/752
International Classes:
B65D43/14; B65D25/28
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060237469Oversized drinking handOctober, 2006Caplicki
20040043168Multilayered molded containerMarch, 2004Ishikawa et al.
20030197019Packaging for liquid, semiliquid or pasty food productOctober, 2003Jouin et al.
20040031796Hanging condiment holderFebruary, 2004Krueger et al.
20100012665Container having vortex breaker and fluid diverter and systemJanuary, 2010Morrissey et al.
20090321450MULTI-COMPARTMENTS PACKAGING FOR THE PREPARATION OF MONO OR MULTI-TASTE PRODUCTSDecember, 2009Palamara et al.
20010027958Container, cover, and insert for a consumer productOctober, 2001Short et al.
20080083765Portable container for assembly at point of useApril, 2008Landsinger
20080149652Handle enclosing assembly of toolboxJune, 2008Chang
20090200311Recycling dividerAugust, 2009Glucoft
20060249518Drinking glass for containing wine and for optimizing air mixed into the wine during swirling to enhance bouquetNovember, 2006Festa



Primary Examiner:
SMALLEY, JAMES N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON PEABODY LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disposable container for disposing of yard debris, the container comprising: a containment area defined by a sidewall, the containment area having a volume for storing waste yard debris; an opening for accessing the containment area; and a flap adjacent the opening, the flap for joining a base surface to the opening wherein the yard debris traverses along the flap to reach the opening and the containment area.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein the flap is hingedly connected to the sidewall.

3. The container of claim 2 wherein the flap comprises a ramp, the ramp providing an elevation from the base surface to the opening.

4. The container of claim 3 wherein the flap further comprises pair of opposing side panels.

5. The container of claim 3 wherein the flap may be pivoted about a hinge to close the opening of the container.

6. The container of claim 5 further comprising a handle extending directionally outwardly from the container.

7. The container of claim 3 wherein the flap comprises a tab for insertion into a slit on the container wherein the flap is maintained in position by frictional contact between the slit and the tab.

8. The container of claim 1 wherein the opening is substantially vertically aligned.

9. The container of claim 1 wherein the opening is substantially horizontally aligned.

10. A disposable container for disposing of yard debris, the container comprising: a containment area defined by a sidewall, the containment area having a volume for storing waste yard debris; an opening in the disposable container for accessing the containment area; a flap hingedly joined to the sidewall, the flap comprising a ramp surface having an elevation for joining a support surface to the opening.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a non-provisional application of currently pending U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/858,658 filed Nov. 14, 2006, which is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to waste collection containers. More particularly, the present invention relates to a waste collection container having an improved opening for waste insertion.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The object of the invention is to solve a number of problems and provide a better means for handling typical yard waste material. The industry standard, biodegradable Kraft paper bag which is designed to stand upright (vertically) is used prevalently by homeowners throughout the country to contain grass clippings, fallen leaves, twigs and branches etc., while these yard waste items wait to be picked up for community composting.

A typical yard waste collection bag has very little structure to help maintain its shape and form when unfolded and stood in its vertical, ready to fill position. From a practical standpoint, two persons would be required to effectively load this type of bag. Generally when a sole individual attempt this task alone, they do so by one of two methods or a combination of both. The open bag is laid horizontally on the ground close to the debris to be collected. The individual filling the bag now attempts to scoot the waste material into the bag opening with his or her foot or with the help of a broom or rake. This method often meets with limited success, as the paper bag opening is too flimsy to remain open and too small to allow the elongated bag to be filled very effectively, nor does this method permit the waste material to be compacted whatsoever.

The other method to fill the bag is to simply stand the bag on end whereas an individual bends over and gathers a pile of waste material between his or her hands and deposits it into the bag. This method is time consuming and not very efficient. It also involves a lot of bending and stooping, along with undue strain on one's body.

Both of these methods of filling and the means of containing yard waste for disposal have a number of shortcomings which have become evident by the amount of prior art that attempts to rectify portions of these problems.

PRIOR ART

All the “Prior Art” we discovered involved methods to make a typical yard waste bag either more rigid to facilitate loading either from an upright (vertical) standing posture or lying on its side (horizontally). The prior act embodiments include; rings to hold the traditional paper bag open, stands to encompass the exterior of the bag, and/or chutes that fit inside. Once again, all in all attempt to make the existing style and typical yard waste bag more conducive to loading.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention is directed to a disposable container for disposing of yard debris. The container comprises a containment area, an opening, and a flap. The containment area is defined by a sidewall and has a volume for storing waste yard debris. The opening is for accessing the containment area. The opening may be substantially vertically or horizontally aligned. The flap is adjacent the opening. The flap joins a base surface to the opening wherein the yard debris traverses along the flap to reach the opening and the containment area. The flap may be hingedly connected to the sidewall. The flap may comprise a ramp. The ramp provides an elevation from the base surface to the opening. The flap may further comprise pair of opposing side panels. The flap may be pivoted about a hinge to close the opening of the container. The flap may comprise a tab for insertion into a slit on the container wherein the flap is maintained in position by frictional contact between the slit and the tab. The container may further comprise a handle extending directionally outwardly from the container.

Another aspect of the present invention is directed to a disposable container for disposing of yard debris. The container comprises a containment area, an opening and a flap. The containment area is defined by a sidewall and has a volume for storing waste yard debris. The opening in the disposable container is for accessing the containment area. The flap is hingedly joined to the sidewall. The flap comprises a ramp surface having an elevation for joining a support surface to the opening.

The present invention is further directed to a waster container as described in detail below and shown in the attached figures. This invention accomplishes the above stated objectives, as well as others, as may be determined by a fair reading and interpretation of this entire document. The present invention includes variations and combinations of the described invention which best suite the ultimate goal of creating the most practical and logical yard waste collection system as disclosed within this document.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To understand the present invention, it will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a waste collection container of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a waste collection container of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the waste collection container of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a waste collection container of the present invention showing debris and a method of using the container;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a waste collection container of the present invention showing debris and a method of using the container;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a waste collection container of the present invention and a method of closing the container;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a waste collection container of the present invention and a method of closing the container; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a waste collection container of the present invention showing debris and a method of using the container.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

The present invention and the embodiments described and disclosed within this document, propose to solve the same problems relating to yard waste handling and containment as addressed by the prior art. However, this is accomplished by reinventing the actual bag and handling system verses adding attachments or peripherals to a poorly designed standard yard waste bag.

The present invention allows a sole individual to collect or rake leaves and other lawn waste into a novel, reconfigured and conducive to be laid (horizontally) on the ground, yard waste bag. This is accomplished by two main features. The first feature or component is the combination lid and raking ramp 1. The ramp/lid 1 runs the length and parallel to the long side of a traditional shaped yard waste bag, again when in the horizontal position and on the ground, where this bag/container is designed to remain until it is filled completely and ready to be moved to a desired location. The second main feature is the location of the bag/opening 2. The opening/lid 2 is on the container top and extending the length or a large portion of the upper most horizontal surface parallel to the ramp 1. This ramp 1 to bag opening 2 configuration allows a sole individual to rake, broom or shovel the desired waste material up and into the four sided bag or box containment area 3. Since the container opening 2 is on the top, not the side, as the debris is added to the container via the ramp 1 or by hand, it may easily be arranged and compacted as the filling process continues. The compacting procedure is simply achieved by stepping down with one's foot and body weight to compress the leaves, twigs, brush, etc., once again until the bag/container is filled to its capacity. Furthermore, the large opening 2 and access to the containment area allows longer debris such as branches, stalks, etc. to be efficiently loaded and compacted.

In one embodiment, after the bag/container is filled, the ramp 1 is collapsed and flipped up 4 (see FIGS. 1-3) along its living hinged side to now become the lid/top and a means for neatly sealing the bag/container's contents in and the potential adverse weather conditions out. Adverse weather such as wind blowing the loaded debris around or more importantly rain, which could saturate the bag material, along with its contents. This scenario would add significantly more weight, along with the chance of the bag/container falling apart or decomposing before its desired time. Additionally, a half filled bag could be closed and stored for further filling at a later date. The lid/top would be secured in its closed position by a number of methods, all commonly known. Examples of temporary and permanent sealing methods would be: flaps that fold and tuck into a slit opening 11 as illustrated in FIG. 6, slits 14, 15 as illustrated in FIG. 7, or behind a paper strap as double stick tape or opposing bent surfaces.

Once the bag/container is filled and the lid/top/cover is closed, carrying handles 5 are now exposed and ready for use. As per the preferred embodiment, these carrying handles would be constructed of the same material as found on a common paper grocery bag, whereas the paper material is doubled up for added strength or they may be constructed of a biodegradable twine or the like. Furthermore, the two handles 5 could be joined together and held that way by the addition of a section of tape or a community yard waste sticker 12, which are sometimes required. When filled, a typical yard waste bag is awkward to handle or carry. The addition of handles 5 would be extremely useful not only to the homeowner while filling the bag, but also to the yard waste hauler when depositing the filled bags into the truck or vehicle.

The bag/container itself would be constructed of common to the industry materials used for a typical yard waste bag to compost scenario. The most common being doubled up grocery bag weight paper, but not limited to. In order to add strength and rigidity to the bag/container's structure, a small amount of very light weight biodegradable cardboard may be required in some key structure locations. The objective would be to construct the most economical yet effective bag/container for this type of recycling application.

Another embodiment shows a ramp 6 as a separate structure from the containment bag. This application may be desired for a number of reasons. One being if the cost of manufacturing the combination lid and ramp became cost prohibited as a recyclable product. In this case, the ramp 6 alone would be constructed of either a sturdy weather-resistant cardboard or some form of plastic etc., whereas the recyclable bag with lid would be situated next to the more “permanent product” ramp. The ramp 6 would obviously be used repeatedly as intended for this particular application. The ramp 6 would certainly fold and collapse for convenient storage. Additionally, when used alone with the disposable lid/ramp, the added ramp 6 would add rigidity to the bag attached lid/ramp, also providing a space for one's foot to help stabilize the bag while the containment area is being loaded (see FIG. 8).

Another embodiment, FIG. 5, shows a traditional shaped yard waste bag with its typically located opening at one end or short side of the elongated bag. The integrated chute/ramp/lid 8 is novel in that it would also be made of the same biodegradable material as the bag itself and would be manufactured along with each bag. As per the drawing, chute/ramp/lid 8 would fold out and open to form a slight ramp with a curb 9 for debris containment. When the desired waste material was swept in and the bag stood up, the ramp 8 would fold up and collapse to form a bag lid or cover, ready for disposal (see FIG. 7). Furthermore, the embodiment shows a permanently attached biodegradable handle 5 constructed as previously described in another embodiment, only located differently.

One of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that the terms “first,” “second,” “upper,” “lower,” etc. are used for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to limit the embodiments in any way. The term “plurality” as used herein is intended to indicate any number greater than one, either disjunctively or conjunctively as necessary, up to an infinite number. The terms “joined” and/or “connected” as used herein are intended to put or bring two elements together so as to form a unit, and any number of elements, devices, fasteners, etc. may be provided between the joined or connected elements unless otherwise specified by the use of the term “directly” and/or supported by the drawings.

While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying Claims.

While some of the prior art may contain some similarities relating to the present invention, none of them teach, suggest or include all of the advantages and unique features as the invention disclosed within this document.