Title:
Garbage container with secure, threaded lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A secure lid garbage container with pre-slotted, internally molded cavities into which casters can be inserted or exchanged is provided. The garbage container has an elongated body that defines a cavity for holding garbage that is accessible through an end of the body. The body has an end with a circumference that can be engaged by a lid so as to close access to the cavity through the end. A threaded engagement is present and is configured with both the lid and the end. The threaded engagement is configured so that attachment of the lid to the end is made by completely rotating the lid around the circumference of the end at least one time.



Inventors:
Williams, Dan Clifton (Marathon, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/633946
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D41/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dan Williams (Greenback, TN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A garbage container, comprising: an elongated body defining a cavity for use in holding items therein, said body having an end with a circumference, said cavity accessible through said end; a lid configured for engaging said end of said body so as to close access into said cavity through said end of said body; and a threaded engagement configured with said end and said lid, said threaded engagement configured so that attachment of said lid to said end is effected by completely rotating said lid around said circumference of said end at least one time.

2. The garbage container as in claim 1, wherein said threaded engagement is configured so that attachment of said lid to said end is effected by completely rotating said lid around said circumference of said end from two to four times.

3. The garbage container as in claim 1, wherein said threaded engagement has male threads that are continuous around the entire said circumference of said end, and wherein said threaded engagement has female threads that are continuous and are defined by said lid, and are configured for engagement with said male threads of said end.

4. The garbage container as in claim 1, wherein said lid has a cap on an upper surface of said lid, wherein said cap defines a hand grip configured for being grasped by the hand of a user to effect rotation of said lid.

5. The garbage container as in claim 4, wherein said cap defines a receiving surface, and further comprising a lanyard having a loop located on said receiving surface of said cap, and further comprising a handle carried by said body and an attachment member carried by said handle, wherein said lanyard is attached to said attachment member.

6. The garbage container as in claim 1, wherein said body has a plurality of planar outer surfaces located between said end of said body and a bottom of said body.

7. The garbage container as in claim 6, wherein eight of said planar outer surfaces are present.

8. The garbage container as in claim 1, wherein said body has a plurality of planar inner surfaces located between said end of said body and a bottom of said body, wherein said planar inner surfaces at least partially define said cavity.

9. The garbage container as in claim 8, wherein eight of said planar inner surfaces are present.

10. The garbage container as in claim 9, wherein said planar inner surfaces taper outwardly in the axial direction of said body towards said end of said body such that said cavity is larger proximate to said end as compared to said bottom of said body.

11. The garbage container as in claim 1, wherein said body has a bottom that defines a drain hole configured to allow liquid present in said cavity of said body to be drained therefrom through said bottom and out of said body.

12. The garbage container as in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of casters carried by said body and configured for rendering said body mobile.

13. A garbage container, comprising: an elongated body defining a cavity for use in holding garbage, said body having an end with a circumference, said cavity accessible through said end, said end having continuous male threads disposed thereon that extend about the entire said circumference of said end; and a lid configured for engaging said end of said body so as to close access into said cavity through said end of said body, said lid defining female threads thereon that extend around said lid; wherein said female threads of said lid engage said male threads of said body so that said lid is secured to and removed from said body by rotating said lid with respect to said body.

14. The garbage container as in claim 13, wherein three of said male threads and three of said female threads are present, and wherein said female threads are engaged with said male threads so that said lid is secured to said body by completely rotating said lid around said circumference of said end more than one time.

15. The garbage container as in claim 13, wherein said lid has a cap on an upper surface of said lid, wherein said cap defines a hand grip configured for being grasped by the hand of a user to effect rotation of said lid, wherein said cap defines a receiving surface; further comprising a lanyard having a loop located on said receiving surface of said cap; and further comprising a handle carried by said body that has an attachment member, wherein said lanyard is attached to said attachment member.

16. The garbage container as in claim 13, wherein said body has a plurality of planar outer and inner surfaces located between said end of said body and a bottom of said body, wherein said planar inner surfaces at least partially define said cavity.

17. The garbage container as in claim 16, wherein eight of said planar outer surfaces are present, and wherein eight of said planar inner surfaces are present.

18. The garbage container as in claim 17, wherein said planar inner surfaces taper outwardly in the axial direction of said body towards said end of said body such that said cavity is larger proximate to said end as compared to said bottom of said body, and wherein said planar outer surfaces taper outwardly in the axial direction of said body towards said end of said body.

19. The garbage container as in claim 13, further comprising a plurality of casters carried by said body and configured for rendering said body mobile.

20. A garbage container, comprising: an elongated body defining a cavity for use in holding garbage, said body having an end with a circumference, said cavity accessible through said end, said end having continuous male threads disposed thereon that extend about said circumference of said end, wherein said body has eight planar outer and eight planar inner surfaces located between said end of said body and a bottom of said body, wherein said planar inner surfaces at least partially define said cavity; a lid configured for engaging said end of said body so as to close access into said cavity through said end of said body, said lid defining female threads thereon that extend around said lid, said lid having a cap with a hand grip configured for being grasped by the hand of the user so as to rotate said lid; wherein said female threads of said lid engage said male threads of said body so that said lid is secured to and removed from said body by rotating said lid with respect to said body; and a plurality of casters carried by said body and configured for rendering said body mobile.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to garbage containers. More particularly, the present application involves a garbage container with a threaded connection that creates a tight and secure fit to prevent unwanted opening of the garbage container by wind or animals. The threads are large, prominent, and relatively coarse, and circumscribe the lid and trash can top at least two times, creating a trashcan/lid assembly which can be easily opened by a human hand to insert trash, but is extremely difficult to open by animals. The garbage container additionally offers pre-slotted, internally molded cavities into which casters can be inserted or exchanged.

BACKGROUND

Removing trash and waste material and storing it for pickup is an extremely common household chore. Crafty animals like raccoons, skunks, possums, and even dogs can wreak havoc on garbage containers and create a monumental mess. Inclement weather conditions can also produce high winds that knock garbage containers over and scatter debris everywhere.

Traditional garbage containers have used many different mechanisms to secure the lid, with limited success. Many lids are separate components that rest directly on top of the body of the container and are closed by pressing down to create a seal, either through snapping the lid over one or more protuberances on the side of the trashcan or friction between the inner surface of the lid and the outer surface of the trashcan. The lid and body can be configured with a snap lock mechanism to effect their attachment. Other garbage containers have lids that are attached to the top of the container and secured using a latch system. Still further, other garbage containers include lids that incorporate various combinations of latches, elastic cords, and hook and loop type fasteners.

Prior garbage containers have also been provided with a pair of slots on the exterior surface of the body that extend a short length in both the axial and circumferential direction of the body. Nodules on the lid are positioned into the slots and the lid is rotated in the circumferential direction in order to slide the nodules along the slots to effect locking of the lid onto the body. Another locking arrangement is known that makes use of a plurality of interrupted twist threads on the outer surface of the body. Lug wedge-shaped members on the inner surface of the lid are positioned so as to engage the interrupted twist threads. The lid is turned a short distance in the circumferential direction and the lug wedge-shaped members slide along the interrupted twist threads and are locked thereon. Although these locking arrangements work well for their intended purposes, they are problematic in that they do not effect a tight seal between the lid and the body of the garbage can. As such, odor from within the garbage can may be noticeable from the outside. Also, resourceful animals may be able to remove the lid from these types of garbage cans as their removal only requires the lid be rotated a slight distance in the circumferential direction, or that the trashcan be knocked over, whereupon most of the “friction” and “snap-on” lids will become disconnected with the trashcan upon impact with the ground.

Current lid closure arrangements are susceptible in some manner to either animal or wind incursion because their locking mechanism can be manipulated to varying degrees, and, in some cases, are inadequate to satisfactorily affix the lid to the can. Additionally, their closing arrangements may be problematic in that odor from within the body of the garbage container can escape through the aforementioned closing arrangements.

As such, there is a need for a trashcan/lid assembly which allows a person easily and quickly remove the lid to insert trash, but has physical characteristics which minimize the escaping of noxious odors from the trashcan, reduce the likelihood that the lid will be separated from the trashcan should it blow over, and diminish the chances that a determined animal will be able to remove the lid.

Another major problem facing the users of garbage containers is that a full garbage container can be quite heavy and difficult to move. The common approaches currently seen in the prior art are to use a dolly to lift each individual trash can onto the dolly's wheels before hauling it to its desired destination, or buy a separate wheeled stand upon which the garbage container sits. There are also garbage containers made with built-in wheels. The disadvantages of each of these approaches follows.

With respect to the use of a dolly to move garbage containers, the user of the invention has to first, buy a dolly, second, maintain the dolly, and, third, store the dolly when it is not being used. While it may not appear on its face that storing a dolly can be burdensome, one only has to think of the average two-car garage, filled with two cars and an assortment of storage boxes, tools, and garden machines, so realize that storing a dolly for use once or twice a week is undesirable. With a dolly, a person also has to balance a sometimes extremely heavy garbage container over the axis described by a line between the two wheels, thus requiring additional strength on the part of the human and raising the likelihood of an accidental spilling of the garbage container, which at best results in an unpleasant picking up of the garbage and at worst can result in serious injury to the human as he/she tries to grab the falling garbage container and/or is hit by the garbage container as it falls off the dolly.

A person can also purchase a wheeled stand for each garbage container, upon which the garbage container is placed. When the person wants to move the garbage container, such as leaving it curbside once a week for garbage pick-up, he/she merely pushes it to the desired location. It should be noted, however, that some such wheeled stands lack adequate retention straps or other devices to secure the garbage container upon the wheeled stand, such that a person using such a device also runs the risk that the garbage container will fall off. A further disadvantage of wheeled stands is that in the event of a wheel becoming jammed with dirt or otherwise ceasing to function, there is no easy and fast way to replace the wheel.

There are also garbage containers with built-in wheels, but, as with the wheeled stands, none of these supply a mechanism by which a nonfunctional wheel can be easily and effectively removed and replaced. These types of garbage containers also lack the ability to change the size and rotational abilities or lack thereof of its wheels. For example, a person living in an area where it snows substantially during the winter months may wish to have larger wheels on his/her garbage containers to cruise over the snow, while a person living on a dirt road may wish to have air-filled wheels for a smoother ride over the irregular road. Wheels which freely rotate 360 degrees may be optimum for a slick asphalt driveway, while a person having to push his/her garbage containers along a narrow sidewalk may prefer to have the “back wheels” locked in place with the only the front wheels allowed any rotation, thereby allowing the user to have more directional control over the garbage container.

The present invention provides just such a solution by teaching a garbage container with a threaded connection that creates a tight and secure fit to prevent unwanted opening of the garbage container by wind or animals. The threads are large, prominent, and relatively coarse, and circumscribe the lid and trash can top at least two times, creating a trashcan/lid assembly which can be easily opened by a human hand to insert trash, but is extremely difficult to open by animals. The garbage container additionally offers pre-slotted, internally molded cavities into which casters can be inserted or exchanged and secured with simple bolt or cotter pin. The cavities allow a user of the invention to, optionally, insert wheels mounted upon metal brackets, i.e., a caster, of different sizes, with different treads, either air-filled or solid, and with varying degrees of rotational abilities.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Various features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the following description, or may be obvious from the description, or may be learned from practice of the invention.

The present invention provides for a garbage container that has an elongated body that defines a cavity for use in holding items such as garbage—a typical trashcan. The body has an end with a circumference, and the cavity is accessible through the end. A lid is configured for engaging the end of the body in order to close access into the cavity through the end of the body. A threaded engagement is configured with the end of the lid. The threaded engagement is configured so that attachment of the lid to the end is effected by completely rotating the lid around the circumference of the end at least one time, preferably at least two times. This threaded portion of the lid and the upper section of the trashcan set this invention apart from other trashcan/lid assemblies.

Also provided in accordance with one aspect of the present invention is a garbage container as immediately discussed in which the threaded engagement is configured so that attachment of the lid to the end is made by completely rotating the lid around the circumference of the end from two to four times.

Another aspect of the present invention resides in a garbage container as discussed above in which the threaded engagement has male threads that are continuous around the entire circumference of the end. The threaded engagement also has female threads that are continuous and are defined by the lid and are configured for engagement with the male threads of the end.

Another aspect of the present invention exists in a garbage container as described above in which the lid has a cap on an upper surface of the lid. The cap defines a hand grip that is configured for being grasped by the hand of a user to effect rotation of the lid.

Yet another aspect of the present invention exists in a garbage container as discussed above in which the body has a plurality of planar outer surfaces located between the end of the body and a bottom of the body. In yet another alternative aspect of the present invention, eight planar outer surfaces are present.

An additional aspect of the present invention resides in a garbage container as previously discussed in which the body has a plurality of planar inner surfaces that are located between the end of the body and a bottom of the body. The planar inner surfaces at least partially define the cavity. Another aspect of the invention exists in a garbage container as immediately mentioned in which eight of the planar inner surfaces are present.

In a further aspect of the present invention, the garbage container as immediately mentioned includes inner planar surfaces that taper outwardly. The inner planar surfaces taper outwardly in the axial direction of the body towards an end of the body so that the cavity is larger proximate to the end as compared to the bottom of the body.

An additional aspect of the present invention exits in a garbage container that has an elongated body that defines a cavity for use in holding garbage. The body has an end with a circumference. The cavity is accessible through the end. The end has continuous male threads disposed thereon that extend about the entire circumference of the end. A lid is present and is configured for engaging the end of the body so as to close access into the cavity through the end of the body. The lid defines female threads that extend around the lid. The female threads of the lid engage the male threads of the body so that the lid is secured to and removed from the body by rotating the lid with respect to the body.

A further aspect of the present invention is present in a garbage container as immediately discussed in which three of the male threads and three of the female threads are present. The female threads are engaged with the male threads so that the lid is secured to the body by completely rotating the lid around the circumference of the end more than one time.

An additional aspect of the present invention exists in a garbage container as discussed above in which the body has a plurality of planar outer surfaces and inner surfaces that are located between the end of the body and a bottom of the body. The planar inner surfaces at least partially define the cavity.

Another aspect of the present invention resides in a garbage container as immediately discussed in which eight of the planar outer surfaces and eight of the planar inner surfaces are present.

A still further aspect of the present invention is found in a garbage container as immediately discussed in which the planar inner surfaces taper outwardly in the axial direction of the body towards an end of the body. The cavity is larger proximate to the end as compared to the bottom of the body. Also, the planar outer surfaces taper outwardly in the axial direction of the body towards the end of the body.

Another aspect of the present invention exits in a garbage container that has an elongated body that defines a cavity for use in holding garbage. The body has an end with a circumference, and the cavity is accessible through the end. The end has continuous male threads disposed thereon that extend about the circumference of the end. The body has eight planar outer and inner surfaces located between the end of the body and a bottom of the body. The planar inner surfaces at least partially define the cavity. A lid is configured for engaging the end of the body so as to close access into the cavity through the end of the body. The lid defines female threads that extend around the lid. The lid has a cap with a hand grip that is configured for being grasped by the hand of the user for rotating the lid. The female threads of the lid engage the male threads so that the lid is secured to and removed from the body by rotating the lid with respect to the body.

An additional aspect of the invention is to provide pre-slotted, internally molded cavities into which casters can be inserted or exchanged and secured with simple bolt or cotter pin, thereby allowing a user of the invention to insert wheels mounted upon metal brackets, i.e., a caster, of different sizes, with different treads, either air-filled or solid, and with varying degrees of rotational abilities, and to replace old or worn out casters without having to replace the entire unit.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. The features listed herein and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and appended claims. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principals of this invention. A full and enabling disclosure of the present invention, including the best mode thereof, directed to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, which makes reference to the appended Figs. in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a garbage can with the lid removed in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the garbage can of FIG. 1 with the lid attached to a body of the garbage can.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the body of the garbage can of FIG. 1 with the lid removed.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the garbage can of FIG. 1 with the lid attached to the body of the garbage can.

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the garbage can of FIG. 1.

Repeat use of reference characters in the present specification and drawings is intended to represent the same or analogous features or elements of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF REPRESENTATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the drawings. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, and not meant as a limitation of the invention. For example, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used with another embodiment to yield still a third embodiment. It is intended that the present invention include these and other modifications and variations.

It is to be understood that the ranges mentioned herein include all ranges located within the prescribed range. As such, all ranges mentioned herein include all sub-ranges included in the mentioned ranges. For instance, a range from 100-200 also includes ranges from 110-150, 170-190, and 153-162. Further, all limits mentioned herein include all other limits included in the mentioned limits. For instance, a limit of up to 7 also includes a limit of up to 5, up to 3, and up to 4.5.

The present invention provides for a garbage container 10 that is designed to prevent animals and rodents from removing the lid 12 of the garbage container 10 and dispersing refuse onto the surrounding area. Specifically, the lid 12 can include integrally formed threads which join with corresponding threads on the upper end of the container to create a tight and secure fit, thus preventing unwanted intrusion by wind, animals, and rodents.

FIG. 1 shows one exemplary embodiment of the garbage container 10 in which the lid 12 is removed from the body 14 of the garbage container 10. The body 14 is elongated and defines a cavity for use in holding garbage therein. The body 14 can be made from a variety of materials. For example, the body 14 can be made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, metal or nylon in accordance with various exemplary embodiments. Further, the body 14 can be manufactured by way of a number of different processes such as casting, extrusion, injection molding, rolling or stamping.

The lid 12 of the garbage container 10 can be made of the same material as the body 14 or may be made of an entirely different material. Likewise, the lid 12 can be fabricated by way of the manufacturing processes described above with respect to the body 14. Here, the lid 12 can be made through the same process as the body 14 or may be made from a completely different process. A threaded engagement 18 is present to allow the lid 12 to be attached to the body 14. As shown in the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1, the threaded engagement 18 includes female threads 20 on the lid 12 and male threads 22 on the body 14. However, it is to be understood that in other exemplary embodiments of the present invention that the threaded engagement 18 includes female threads 20 that are present on the body 14 and male threads 22 that are located on the lid 12. The threaded engagement 18 allows for attachment of the lid 12 to the body 14 in such a manner that prevents animals, rodents and wind from removing the lid 12 and emptying the contents of the garbage container 10.

The body 14 has an end 56 that defines a circumference 54. In the exemplary embodiment shown, the end 56 has a ring-shaped cross section with a circular circumference 54. However, it is to be understood that the end 56 and circumference 54 can be variously configured in other exemplary embodiments. The male threads 22 are disposed on the end 56 and extend around the entire circumference 54. Here, the male threads 22 are configured as a single element that extends continuously around the entire circumference 54 three times. Other exemplary embodiments are possible in which the male threads 22 can extend any number of times around the entire circumference 54. For example, male threads 22 may extend once around the entire circumference 54 or may extend from two to ten and a half times around circumference 54.

The male threads 22 can be variously configured in accordance with different exemplary embodiments of the garbage container 10. The pitch of the male threads 22 can be up to two inches in accordance with certain embodiments. For example, the pitch of male threads 22 may be one inch in one embodiment of the invention. Likewise, the depth of male threads 22 can be any desired amount. The depth of male threads 22 may be from one half an inch to three inches, or the depth may be three fourths of an inch in accordance with certain embodiments. The thread form of the male threads 22 can be likewise varied as desired. For instance, the thread form of male threads 22 can be square, buttress, whitworth, unified-un, sharp V, acme or circular in accordance with different embodiments of the present invention. The male threads 22 can be arranged as either right-handed thread or as left-handed thread as desired. The male threads 22 can be provided so that a lead from one half inch to four inches is present during attachment or removal of the lid 12.

The male threads 22 can be formed in a variety of manners on the end 56. For example the male threads 22 may be integrally formed with the body 14. Here, the male threads 22 and body 14 can be molded as a single integral component. Alternatively, the male threads 22 can be formed separately from the body 14 and attached thereto through any know means of attachment such as adhesion, mechanical fasteners or welding.

The lid 12 defines a plurality of female threads 20 that are complimentary to the male threads 22 on the end 56 as shown in FIG. 1. Female threads 20 can be formed in a variety of manners on the lid 12. For example, the female threads 20 can be included as part of the mold that is used to make the lid 12.

Alternatively, the female threads 20 can be cut or otherwise formed into the side of the lid 12. Still further, the female threads 20 can be separate components that are attached to the lid 12 through means such as adhesion, welding or mechanical fasteners. Properties, such as depth, pitch and thread form, associated with the female threads 20 can be similar to those discussed above with respect to the male threads 22 and therefore repeating of this information is not necessary.

The lid 12 is provided with a cap 16 on an upper surface 62 thereof. Cap 16 includes a hand grip 30 that is configured for being grasped by the hand of a user. The user may grasp hand grip 30 and manipulate lid 12 so that it is positioned over the end 56 of the body 14. The lid 12 can then be rotated about its circumference so that the female threads 20 of the lid 12 engage the male threads 22 of the body 14. The user can twist the lid 12 multiple times 360° in order to engage the various female threads 20 and male threads 22. The lid 12 can thus be secured to the body 14 through the threaded engagement 18. The threaded engagement 18 provides a secure attachment between the lid 12 and body 14 and also acts to create a seal between these two parts to prevent odor inside of the garbage container 10 from escaping across this connection between lid 12 and body 14. The female threads 20 and male threads 22 can have any desired thread class so that the tightness or looseness of the fit between these two components can be varied. For example, the female threads 20 and male threads 22 may tightly engage one another so that the resulting connection results in a strong seal. However, as it may be harder to attach and detach the lid 12 with such a configuration the connection tightness between the threads 20 and 22 may be loosened which could result in a resulting seal of lesser strength.

Attachment of the lid 12 to the body 14 is shown in FIG. 2. Once attached, an animal such as a raccoon will have to rotate the lid 12 about the body 14 a number of times in order to remove the lid 12 to access contents inside of the garbage container 10. The garbage container 10 can be configured so that the lid 12 must be rotated one or more times in order to be removed.

For example, the lid 12 may need to be rotated from two to four times to effect its removal. Although three male threads 22 may be present on the end 56, the lid 12 can still be attached to the body 14 with fewer than three rotations. Here, the user can rotate the lid 12 once or twice so that some, but not all, of the female threads 20 engage the male threads 22.

A set of handles 24 and 26 are attached to the body 14 to aid a user in transporting or tilting the garbage container 10. Each handle 24 and 26 has a frame 66 that extends outward from the body 14 and includes a grip 44 configured for being grasped by the hand of a user. Although a pair of handles 24 and 26 are present and are located on opposite sides of the body 14, any number of handles can be used in other embodiments and may be located variously on the body 14. Further, other exemplary embodiments exist in which the body 14 is not provided with any handles 24 or 26. Handles 24 and 26 can be integrally formed with the body 14 or may be separate components that are attached using any means known in the art. As seen in FIG. 3, bolts 50 are provided in order to secure the handles 24 and 26 to the body 14.

Referring back to FIGS. 2 and 3, handle 24 is shown as including an attachment member 38 that is used to attach a lanyard 32 to the handle 24. Lanyard 32 is provided in order to keep the lid 12 from being lost when it is removed from the body 14. Lanyard 32 has a loop 34 that is designed for being attached to a receiving surface 28 defined on the cap 16. The receiving surface 28 can be defined on the cap 16 proximate to the upper surface 62 of lid 12 and may be bordered on the opposite side by a ridge of the cap 16. Loop 34 can be disposed onto receiving surface 28 and retained thereon between the ridge and upper surface 62. the loop 34 may slide around receiving surface 28 so as to allow the lid 12 to be positioned anywhere around the body 14 and to allow for the lid 12 to rotate upon attachment and detachment of the lid 12 and body 14.

Lanyard 32 has an end 36 that is opposite from loop 34 that is attached to, the attachment member 38. End 36 may be rigidly attached to the attachment member 38 or can pivot thereto. Likewise, the attachment member 38 can be rigidly attached to the handle 24 or may pivot with respect to handle 24. The lanyard 32 can be of any length to allow for the lid 12 to be retained at any desired proximity to the body 14. It is to be understood that a variety of different configurations are possible for the lanyard 32 and that the disclosed embodiment is only for sake of example. For instance, the lanyard 32 can be attached directly to the body 14 and not to the handle 24 or 26 in other embodiments. Further, the attachment member 38 need not be present in that the end 36 can be wrapped or otherwise attached directly to the frame 66 or grip 44 of the handle 24.

The body 14 has a plurality of outer planar surfaces 46. Although shown as having eight such outer planar surfaces 46, any number are possible in other embodiments. The surface finishes between the outer planar surfaces 46 can be different. For example, one of the outer planar surfaces 46 can have a smooth finish while the other outer planar surfaces 46 have a rough textured finish. Further, the outer planar surface 46 that is smooth may be recessed one eighth of an inch from adjacent outer planar surfaces 46 that have a rough textured finish. The outer planar surfaces 46 are advantageous in that should the garbage container 10 be knocked over due to wind, contact between the ground and the outer planar surfaces 46 will tend to inhibit rolling of the garbage container. Additionally, the outer planar surfaces 46 may taper in the outward direction from the bottom 64 of the body towards the end 56 in the axial direction. This outward tapering may cause a garbage container 10 that is knocked over from the wind to rotate in a circular direction on the ground so that it does not advance too far from its original location.

A plurality of casters 40 can be attached to the body 14 to aid in moving the garbage container 10 over floors, pavement, gravel and lawns. The casters 40 can be variously configured. For instance, the casters 40 can be single or double wheeled casters and may either swivel or remain in a fixed orientation with respect to the body 14. Any type or configuration of casters 40 can be used in the present application. The casters 40 can be removably attachable to the body 14 to allow the garbage container 10 to be adaptable for various situations. For instance, the garbage container 10 can be initially provided with a set of casters 40 suitable for use on a surface such as pavement. If the user desires to move the garbage container 10 across a surface that includes rougher terrain such as grass or rock, a suitable set of auxiliary casters 40 can be attached to the body 14. Further, the garbage container 10 need not be initially provided with any casters 40. Here, the garbage container 10 may rest on the bottom 64 of the body 14.

Casters 40 can be attached to the body 14 through a variety of mechanisms. As can be seen in FIG. 3, four mounting blocks 60 are disposed around the interior of the body 14. Bolts 42, which are more easily seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, are used to attach the casters 40 to the mounting blocks 60 and thus the body 14. Alternatively, slots can be integrally molded into the lower portion of the body 14 to receive stems or other structural members of casters 40 to effect attachment of the casters 40 to the body 14. In this manner, the casters 40 can be either snap fit or frictionally fit onto the body 14 in the integrally molded slots. The aforementioned integrally molded slots may be formed on the inside of the body 14 so that they are not visible from the exterior. Additionally, although shown as employing four casters 40, it is to be understood than any number of casters 40 can be included. For example, from five to eight casters 40 may be used in other embodiments.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, a drain hole 48 is defined in the bottom 64 of the body 14. The drain hole 48 is present in order to allow liquid inside of the garbage container 10 to be drained therefrom. This could be desirable, for instance, if the lid 12 of the garbage container 10 were left unattached to the body 14 during a rainstorm. The user can employ the drain hole 48 to remove rain water from the garbage container 10 before filling it with garbage. In this regard, a drain plug 68 as shown in FIG. 5 is present in order to plug the drain hole 48 and prevent liquid from traveling therethrough. The user can remove the drain plug 68 when drainage of the garbage container 10 is desired. The drain plug 68 can have a handle portion for grasping by the user. Although shown as making use of a drain plug 68, this element need not be present in other embodiments. For example, the drain hole 48 can be equipped with a one way valve mechanism that acts to drain the garbage container 10 when a predetermined amount of water is present on the bottom of the body 14. Further, the garbage container 10 can be provided with a drain hole 48 that is continuously open to the environment in other embodiments.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the body 14 detached from the lid 12. The body 14 defines a cavity 52. As shown in FIG. 3, the cavity 52 is defined by the bottom 64 of the body in addition to a plurality of inner planar surfaces 58. There are eight inner planar surfaces 58 present so as to give the body 14 an interior cross-section that is octagonal. The inner planar surfaces 58 taper outwardly from the axis of the body 14 in the axial direction from the bottom 64 to the end 56. In this manner, the cavity 52 is larger proximate the end 56 than it is proximate to bottom 64.

It is to be understood that the present container 10 has been described as a garbage container 10 for sake of example and that the container 10 disclosed herein may be used in other applications besides transporting and storing garbage. It is often the case that one uses a garbage container for storage of items in their garage or basement. Other uses of a garbage container are likewise possible. For example, the container 10 can be used as a cooler in accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Here, an O-ring seal can be seated around the body 14 at the bottom of the male threads 22. A user can engage the lid 12 onto the body 14 and turn the lid 12 so the female threads 20 engage the male threads 22 and eventually compress the O-ring seal to form a sealed locking arrangement. The O-ring seal is advantageous in that it prevents cooled air from escaping. However, it is to be understood that the O-ring seal can be used when the container 10 is used as a garbage container as well.

When used as a cooler, the container 10 can also be designed so that the body 14 is double walled and is lined with foam insulation to maintain desired thermal properties in the cavity 52. A drain plug 68 and drain hole 48 are also advantageously provided as it is common for ice, which melts, to be present inside of coolers. As such, it is to be understood that although described as being used to hold garbage, in certain exemplary embodiments, the garbage container 10 can be used in other applications besides those in which garbage is housed and transported.

While the present invention has been described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the subject matter encompassed by way of the present invention is not to be limited to those specific embodiments. On the contrary, it is intended for the subject matter of the invention to include all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as can be included within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting, as to the scope of the invention in any way.