Title:
MOUNTABLE RECYCLE CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention discloses a mountable recycle container having a mounting bracket which allows it to be selectively affixed to a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container for transporting the refuse to the curbside. This invention also discloses mounting brackets that can be retrofitted to conventional recycle bins and refuse container assemblies of the same nature and design.



Inventors:
Lamendola, Gerald (Stafford, NY, US)
Bonnewell, Frank David (Churchville, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/143543
Publication Date:
01/01/2009
Filing Date:
06/20/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/692
International Classes:
B65D1/40; A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALLEN, JEFFREY R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tracy Jong Law Firm (Churchville, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A mountable recycle container comprising: a collection bin, wherein the collection bin comprises four walls, a base member, and a top opening, wherein the four walls are in contacting engagement with the base member, and wherein the walls are tapered inwardly, and a flange, wherein the flange surrounds a periphery of the top opening and outwardly protrudes from the walls, the flange comprises a lip having an interior edge and an exterior edge, the walls depend from the interior edge of the lip, the flange is adapted to cooperate for mounting with a fixed surface such as a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container, another mountable recycle container or a horizontally disposed framing stud, and wherein the recycle container comprises a unitary structure wherein the flange is integral with the collection bin.

2. The mountable recycle container of claim 1, wherein a circumference of the flange is from about 5 to about 35 percent greater than a circumference of the base member.

3. The mountable recycle container of claim 2, wherein the flange further comprises at least one mounting bracket adapted to cooperate for mounting with a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container.

4. The mountable recycle container of claim 3, wherein the mounting bracket comprises a transverse length of from about 2 to about 4.5 inches and a width of from about 0.75 to about 2.5 inches.

5. The mountable recycle container of claim 4, wherein the mounting bracket comprises an L-shaped main body having a horizontal top body portion and a vertical rear body portion extending downwardly from a rear edge of the top body portion, wherein a front edge of the top body portion is fixed to the lip, wherein a juncture between the horizontal top body portion and the vertical rear body portion forms an interior angle of from about 85 to about 150 degrees, wherein the mounting bracket further comprises an opening for transversally receiving a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container and securing the mountable refuse container thereabout, and wherein the mounting bracket supports the collection bin when the mounting bracket is mounted to a fixed surface.

6. The mountable recycle container of claim 5, wherein the collection bin comprises a plurality of compartments.

7. The mountable recycle container of claim 5, wherein the collection bin comprises a volume of from about 12 gallons to about 18 gallons and wherein a first mountable recycle container may be nested in a second mountable recycle container.

8. The mountable recycle container of claim 7, wherein a depth of the collection bin is from about 6 to about 16 inches.

9. The mountable recycle container of claim 5, wherein the mounting bracket further comprises a plurality of supporting ribs.

10. A refuse container assembly comprising: a recycle container comprising a collection bin having a top opening, and a flange, wherein the flange surrounds the top opening, the flange is fixed to and outwardly extending from the collection bin, the flange comprises at least two handles, and the flange comprises at least one mounting bracket dimensioned to cooperate for mounting with a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container, and the mounting bracket supports the collection bin when the mounting bracket is mounted to a fixed surface; and a wheeled toter style refuse container having a bar wherein the mounting bracket is cooperatively engaged with the bar.

11. The refuse container assembly of claim 10, wherein the mounting bracket comprises an L-shaped main body having a horizontal top body portion wherein a front edge of the horizontal top body portion is fixed to a lip of the flange, a vertical rear body portion extending downwardly from a rear edge of the top body portion, and wherein the mounting bracket further comprises an opening for transversally receiving a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container and securing the mountable refuse container thereabout.

12. The refuse container assembly of claim 10, wherein the mounting bracket comprises a transverse length of from about 2 to about 4.5 inches and a width of from about 0.75 to about 2.5 inches.

13. The refuse container assembly of claim 10, wherein a depth of the collection bin is from about 6 to about 16 inches.

14. A mounting bracket for mounting a recycle container to a fixed surface such as a wheeled toter style refuse container, a mountable recycle container or horizontally disposed framing stud comprising: a main body having a horizontal top body portion, a vertical rear body portion extending downwardly from a rear edge of the top body portion, and a vertical front body portion extending downwardly from a front edge of the top body portion, wherein a contour of an exterior peripheral surface of the vertical rear body portion is configured to correspond with a contour of a wall of the recycle container, wherein the main body is configured to be selectively fixed to a lip of a recycle container, and wherein the mounting bracket supports a recycle container when the mounting bracket is mounted to a fixed surface.

15. A mounting bracket of claim 14, wherein the horizontal top body portion has a concave indentation therein for transversally receiving the lip of the recycle container.

16. A mounting bracket of claim 15, wherein the concave indentation has a depth of from about 0.5 to about 2.5 inches and is contoured to correspond with a contour of the lip.

17. A mounting bracket of claim 14, wherein the vertical front body portion is biased outwardly away from the vertical rear body portion.

18. A mounting bracket of claim 15, wherein the mounting bracket has a transverse length of from about 2 to about 4.5 inches.

19. A mounting bracket of claim 15, wherein the mounting bracket further comprises a plurality of L-shaped supporting ribs.

20. A mounting bracket of claim 14, wherein the mounting bracket is formed of a thermoplastic material.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO OTHER APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent U.S. Ser. No. 60/937,467 filed on Jun. 28, 2007 and entitled “REFUSE CONTAINER WITH MOUNTABLE RIM.” Said disclosure is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to residential refuse containers and more particularly, to a novel mountable recycle container which allows it to be selectively affixed to a wheeled toter style refuse container for transporting the refuse to the curbside. This invention also relates to mounting brackets and refuse container assemblies of the same nature and design.

BACKGROUND

Various refuse containers are known in the art for holding refuse materials. Residential homes typically have several refuse containers that allow for separation of the recyclable waste from the disposable waste. The higher demand for separation of different recyclables and mandatory recycling in many municipalities has resulted in the need for two or more bins. When garbage day arrives, the typical residential household must haul several refuse containers to the curb. Disposable garbage may be contained in a wheeled toter style refuse container while recyclable materials are contained in one or more refuse bins separating several types of recyclable waste from one another (e.g., paper, plastic, glass, metal cans, and the like).

Typical recycle bins are a substantially rectangular box with an open top. Since there is no cover from rain or snow, the recycle bins generally have drain holes in the bottom. The size of these recycle bins vary, but are generally controlled by the anticipated lifting weight of the bin when full. These open topped rectangular boxes are formed with an edge designed for “collar lifting.” This edge also forms handle-like structures to assist during manual lifting.

Transporting garbage to the curb is an undesirable task that requires bending, lifting and weight bearing. The job of transporting the weekly garbage to the curbside often requires the user to hold the bin away from his legs due to filth on the bin or liquid that drips out of tilted cans and jars. This can be difficult for people who have physical limitations.

While the wheeled toter style refuse containers have gained popularity, recycle bins with wheels have not been commercially successful. At least one inventor posited that the lack of commercial success was attributable to the inherent dynamic that the maximum lifting weight does not allow the height of the container to reach an ergonomically suitable height to wheel the container.

Prior art attempts to propose a solution include carts to move the bins to the curb. U.S. Pat. No. 3,830,514 discloses a refuse container cart that transports a plurality of waste receptacles, however, it contemplates two primary waste receptacles rather than a typical “toter” style primary receptacle and a typical recycle bin. The disclosure of said patent is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,092,480 discloses a modular waste disposal receptacle system particularly suited for recyclable waste materials comprising a primary wastebasket and a plurality of smaller secondary receptacles. The disclosure of said patent is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. U.S. Pat. No. 5,108,000 discloses a caddy for mounting in hanging attachment on a rim of a wastebasket, said caddy comprising a caddy body and a hanger. The disclosure of said patent is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. This prior art does not incorporate a wheeled “toter” style primary receptacle, and the mechanism for attachment is a separate bracket disposed at the upper edge of the primary receptacle. This design could not be adapted to a wide variety of prior art toter style wheeled refuse containers.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,953,199 discloses a primary refuse container with wheels and an auxiliary retractable shelf-structure for transporting recyclable containers with the primary refuse container. This prior art design is not useable with many current toters (and does not allow for retrofitting) and is subject to mechanical failure with its moving parts. The disclosure of said patent is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,607,088 discloses a toter style primary receptacle with bin carrier attachment for recyclable bins. This prior art requires a separate mounting bracket and is limited to attachment on the upper rim of the primary receptacle. This may interfere with closure of the lid. The disclosure of said patent is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,713,499 discloses a self-detaching recycle bin and garbage drum. This design requires a separate bracket for mounting and is not adaptable to many wheeled toter style refuse containers. The disclosure of said patent is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

Therefore, there has developed a need for an integral mountable recycle container design that is mountable in a variety of manners on a prior art wheeled toter style refuse container. It is desirable to design a mountable recycle container that is close to the prior art recycle bin, improving upon its functionality and eliminating one or more of its limitations. It is also desirable to design a retrofit mounting bracket for a refuse container to create a mountable rim and a refuse container assembly from prior art refuse containers that is mountable in a variety of manners on a conventional wheeled toter style refuse container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with this invention, there is provided a mountable recycle container comprising a collection bin, wherein the collection bin comprises four walls, a base member, and a top opening, wherein the four walls are in contacting engagement with the base member, and wherein the walls are tapered inwardly, and a mounting flange, wherein the mounting flange comprises a generally rectangular frame surrounding a periphery of the top opening and outwardly protruding from the walls, the mounting flange comprises a lip having an interior edge and an exterior edge, the walls depend from the interior edge of the lip, the mounting flange is adapted to cooperate for mounting with a fixed surface such as a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container or a horizontally disposed framing stud, and wherein the mountable recycle container comprises a unitary structure wherein the mounting flange is integral with the collection bin.

Applicant's novel mountable recycle container provides a recycle bin that can be interchangeably mounted on a toter style wheeled refuse container, another refuse container, a second mountable recycle container, a wall, and the like.

In accordance with this invention, there is also provided a refuse container assembly comprising a recycle container comprising a collection bin having a top opening, and a flange, wherein the flange surrounds the top opening, the flange is fixed to and outwardly extending from the collection bin, the flange comprises at least two handles, and the flange comprises at least one mounting bracket having a bottom surface wherein the bottom surface is dimensioned to cooperate for mounting with a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container, and the mounting bracket supports the collection bin when the mounting bracket is mounted to a fixed surface; and a wheeled toter style refuse container having a bar wherein the mounting bracket is cooperatively engaged with the bar.

In accordance with this invention, there is also provided a single piece mounting bracket for mounting a recycle container having a lip to a fixed surface such as a wheeled toter style refuse container or horizontally disposed framing stud comprising a main body having a horizontal top body portion, a vertical rear body portion extending downwardly from a rear edge of the top body portion, and a vertical front body portion extending downwardly from a front edge of the top body portion, wherein the horizontal top body portion has a concave indentation therein for transversally receiving the lip of the recycle container and securing the lip therein, wherein a contour of an exterior peripheral surface of the vertical rear body portion is configured to correspond with a contour of a wall of the recycle container, and wherein the mounting bracket supports a recycle container when the mounting bracket is mounted to a fixed surface.

It is an object of this invention to provide a recycle bin that may be selectively affixed to a wheeled toter style refuse container for transporting the refuse to the curb.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide stackable separate recyclable containers, such that each container can be designated for a particular recyclable material, with the containers being mountable on one another and/or a wheeled toter style refuse container for ease of transport to the curb for pick-up.

It is an object of this invention to provide a mountable recycle container that is closely matched to the requirements of household use to provide the functions of a recycle bin.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a mountable recycle container that is versatile and readily adaptable to different mounting methods, without change in manufacturing technology for this type of bin, or manufacturing tools; and which is simple to make and of light weight, so that it can be easily manufactured and mounted, for example, on a toter style wheel refuse container.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a relatively simple mountable recycle container that is economical for mass production from the viewpoint of the manufacturer and consumer, thereby making it economically available to the buying public.

Whereas there may be many embodiments of the present invention, each embodiment may meet one or more of the foregoing recited objects in any combination. It is not intended that each embodiment will necessarily meet each objective. Thus, having broadly outlined the more important features of the present invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated, there are, of course, additional features of the present invention that will be described herein and will form a part of the subject matter of the invention.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The present invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described by reference to the specification and the drawings, in which like numerals refer to like elements, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mountable recycle container;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a mountable recycle container in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container and comprising a refuse container assembly;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a mountable recycle container in use as aligned for mounting on a wheeled toter style refuse container;

FIG. 4 is an orthogonal view of a mountable recycle container;

FIG. 5 is a detailed view of section A of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an orthogonal view of a mountable recycle container;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a mountable recycle container;

FIG. 8 is bottom view of a mountable recycle container;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of two mountable recycle containers in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container;

FIG. 10 is an orthogonal view of two mountable recycle containers in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container;

FIG. 11 is an orthogonal view of two mountable recycle containers in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container in another arrangement;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a mounting bracket mounted on a prior art recycle bin;

FIG. 13 is an exploded view of a novel mounting bracket;

FIG. 14A is an orthogonal side view of a novel mounting bracket;

FIG. 14B is an orthogonal front view of a novel mounting bracket;

FIG. 15A is an orthogonal side view of another embodiment of a novel mounting bracket;

FIG. 15B is a perspective view of the embodiment of a novel mounting bracket depicted in FIG. 15A;

FIG. 15C is a perspective view of another embodiment of a novel mounting bracket; and

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a mountable recycle container.

The drawings are not to scale, in fact, some aspects have been emphasized for a better illustration and understanding of the written description.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a novel mountable recycle container 100 of this invention. Referring to FIG. 1, a mountable recycle container 100 comprises a collection bin 118 and a mounting flange 114 surrounding the top opening (mouth) 116 of the container.

Generally, the collection bin comprises four walls 110, 112, 106, 108, a base member (not visible in this view, but see 406 of FIG. 4), and a top opening 116. Preferably, the four walls 110, 112,106, 108 are in contacting engagement with the base member and are tapered inwardly. In the embodiment depicted, collection bin 118 comprises an open topped rectangular box 118 with side walls 110 and 112, back wall 106, front wall 108, and base member (bottom) (not visible in this view, but see 406 of FIG. 4).

The mounting flange 114 of this open topped rectangular box 118 comprises a rectangular frame surrounding a periphery of the top opening 116 and outwardly protruding from the walls 110, 112, 106, 108. The mounting flange 114 comprises a lip 103 having an interior edge 105 and an exterior edge 107 and the walls 110, 112, 106, 108 depend from the interior edge 105 of the lip 107. The mounting flange is adapted to cooperate for mounting with a fixed surface such as a bar of a wheeled toter style refuse container (see 304 of FIG. 3), another mountable recycle container 100 or a horizontally disposed framing stud. As used in this specification a framing stud means a 2×4 framing stud (piece of lumber) or a substantial equivalent member. Preferably, the mountable recycle container 100 comprises a unitary structure wherein the mounting flange 114 is integral with the collection bin 118.

In a preferred embodiment, mountable recycle container 100 is stackable to reduce storage space. In a preferred embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 taper downwardly and inwardly toward the base member 406. By properly tapering side walls 110, 112, back 106, and front 108, the planar surface becomes as large as or larger than the base member (not visible in this view, but see 406 of FIG. 4), providing a planar surface sized to support another mountable recycle container 100 having a similarly sized base member 406.

Thus, in one aspect of the present invention (and with reference to FIG. 7), the mounting flange 114 further comprises a distal flange portion 111, a proximal flange portion 115, a first transverse flange portion 117 and a second transverse flange portion 113. As will be clear from the rectangular shape, the first transverse flange portion 117 and the second transverse flange portion 113 comprise the same length and the first transverse flange portion 117 and the second transverse flange portion 113 comprise a length 608 that is greater than the length of the distal flange portion 111 or the proximal flange portion 115. The circumference of the top opening 116 is from about 5 to about 35 per cent greater than a circumference of the base member 406. In one aspect of this embodiment, the circumference of the top opening 116 of the container is preferably from about 10 to about 25, per cent greater than the circumference of the base member 406.

In one aspect of this embodiment, the mounting flange 114 and side walls (e.g., side walls 110 and 112, back wall 106, front wall 108, and base member 406 of FIG. 4) have corresponding structures for nesting and stacking the mountable recycle containers 100. In one embodiment (not depicted), walls 110 and 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 have ribs on the outer peripheral surface thereof which provide corresponding indents on the inner peripheral surface. The indents form guides for nesting several containers 100 when empty. Additionally and optionally, side walls 110 and 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 also include sockets which are sized to receive corresponding feet of a second mountable recycle container 100.

To increase the size of the mountable recycle container 100 while maintaining stackability, side walls 110 and 112, back 106, front 108, and base member 406 of the mountable recycle container 100 can be increased in height while the base member 406 remains the same size. Thus, the capacity of one mountable recycle container 100 can double or triple in size without affecting stackability.

As will be clear from a review of FIG. 1, collection bin 118 is essentially a basin-like container that facilitates the collection of solid refuse. It is to be understood and within the scope of this invention that the collection bin 118 of this invention need not be rectangular and takes many shapes and sizes in various embodiments. By way of illustration, but not limitation, a collection bin 118 of this invention may comprise a single compartment bin, a double compartment bin, a triple compartment bin, and the like. By way of further illustration, but not limitation, a collection bin 118 of this invention may comprise a rounded bin, a square bin, and the like. In one embodiment, side walls 110, 112, back 106, and front 108 extend a distance (length and/or width) of from about 8 inches to about 60 inches, preferably from about 16 to about 30 inches.

In a preferred embodiment, the depth of collection bin 118 is from about 6 to about 16 inches, preferably from about 12 to about 14 inches, and most preferably about 13.5 inches. In this aspect of the embodiment, if the depth becomes too great, the bottom 416 will prevent the mountable recycle container 100 from mating adequately with a wheeled toter style refuse container 200 as depicted in FIG. 2.

In one embodiment, collection bin 118 has a volume of from about 6 to about 32 gallons, preferably from about 10 to about 24 gallons. In one aspect of this embodiment, collection bin 118 is manufactured in sizes such that it has a volume of about 12 gallons, about 14 gallons and about 18 gallons.

Referring again to FIG. 1, mounting flange 114 comprises one or more mounting brackets 102 and one or more handles 104. Mounting flange 114 serves to tie the four walls (e.g., sides 110, 112, back 106, and front 108) of the mountable recycle container 100 together and provides additional strength to permit the mountable recycle container 100 to retain its shape under stress. Said mounting flange 114 is gently tapered downwardly and inwardly toward the base member 406 such that it facilitates the stackability of a plurality of refuse containers 100.

While tapered strengthening ribs and other formed structures are used for strengthening and supporting the mountable recycle container 100 in some embodiments, it will be understood that various other shapes and supporting features/methods could be used with the mountable recycle container 100 of the present invention.

In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, two handles 104 are disposed centrally along the distal and proximal flange portions on the top of side walls 110, 112. It is to be understood and within the scope of this invention that only one handle, two handles, or three or more handles may be incorporated along the mounting flange 114 as desired by the user or manufacturer. Referring to FIG. 7, these may be along the distal 111, proximal 113 or transverse 115, 117 flange portions.

In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, one mounting bracket 102 is disposed centrally along the first transverse flange portion (top of back wall 106). It is to be understood and within the scope of this invention that only one mounting bracket, two mounting brackets, three mounting brackets or four mounting brackets may be incorporated along the mounting flange 114 as desired by the user or manufacturer. In one aspect of this embodiment (not depicted), two mounting brackets 102 are disposed along the mounting flange 114 on the second transverse flange portion 113 (see FIG. 7) at the top of front wall 404 (see FIG. 4) and the first transverse flange portion 117 (see FIG. 7) at the top of back wall 402 (see FIG. 4).

In another embodiment (not depicted), side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 also include a rib section which imparts additional strength and further allows distribution of the stress on side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 of the mountable recycle container 100 to thereby improve its capability to resist deformation.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a mountable recycle container 100 in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200. This combination comprise a refuse container assembly of the present invention. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a mountable recycle container 100 unmounted (ready for mounting) on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200. As may be seen in FIG. 3, wheeled toter style refuse container 200 has a bar-like member (“bar”) 304 that facilitates mechanical lifting of the wheeled toter style refuse container 200 by a refuse truck. This feature and method is well known in the art, and involves lifting a refuse container such as a toter style container by a refuse container truck wherein bar 304 is slid onto the lifting forks where it is lifted, tilted and emptied into the disposal portion of the truck.

In order to allow wheeled toter style refuse container 200 to mate with many refuse trucks, bar 304 has certain standardized features. Bar 304 is disposed at a distance from the ground of from about 13 inches to about 20 inches, preferably from about 17 to 18 inches. Bar 304 has a length of from about 4 to about 12 inches, preferably from about 5 to about 10 inches and a diameter of from about 0.5 to about 3 inches, preferably from about 1 to about 1.75 inches. Bar 304 is disposed in a concave surface with a depth of from about from 1 to about 3 inches, preferably about 1.5 to about 2.5 inches. In some manufacturer models, bar 304 has a tubular or cylindrical shape while in others it has a more rectangular shape. By way of example, the bar 304 of several manufacturers's wheeled toter style refuse containers are described with reference to the chart below:

Height of BarLength of BarDiameter of BarDepth of
MemberMemberMemberConcave Part
Manufacturer(inches)(inches)(inches)(inches)
SSI Schaefer17.561 Ø2.5
(98 gallon model)
Otto Industries, Inc.1761.5 × 0.51.5
Lt. Disposal Model
Rehrig Huskylite175  1 × 0.751.5
Pacific Company
Husky Model
Cascade Engineering7101 Ø2
Inc. Container Croup
Rehrig Pacific1861 × 12.5
Company
Cascade Engineering1881 Ø2
Inc. Container Group
(wherein Ø is a round diameter member having a circular cross section, others are substantially rectangular cross section members)

As depicted in FIG. 1, the mounting flange 114 is dimensioned to support the collection bin 118. Mounting flange 114 comprises a mounting bracket 102 having a bottom surface (see 510, 512, 514 of FIG. 5) dimensioned to cooperate for mounting with a refuse container (e.g., wheeled toter style refuse container 200). Referring again to FIG. 3, mounting bracket 102 is in contacting engagement with bar 304 when the mountable recycle container 100 is mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200 as depicted in FIG. 2.

The features of the mountable recycle container 100 described herein render it more versatile than refuse containers of the prior art. For example, the novel mountable recycle container 100 of this invention is adaptable to be mounted on a fixed surface such as a wheeled toter style refuse container (see 200 of FIG. 2), on a second mountable recycle container 100 of this invention, on another refuse container, on a wall, a framing stud, and the like. FIG. 2 depicts a mountable recycle container 100 mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200. FIG. 11 depicts two mountable recycle containers 100 mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200. FIG. 9 depicts two mountable recycle containers 100 mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200 in a different configuration, more specifically, a first mountable recycle container 100 is mounted on a second mountable recycle container 100A that is mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200.

FIG. 4 is an orthogonal view a mountable recycle container 100. In the embodiment depicted, collection bin 118 comprises an open topped rectangular box with side walls 110 and 112 (not visible in this view, but see FIG. 1), back wall 106, front wall 108, and base member 406. In a preferred embodiment, side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 taper downwardly and inwardly toward the base member 406. In the embodiment depicted, handle 104 is disposed centrally about the distal flange portion 111 at the top of side wall 110 along mounting flange 114. In the embodiment depicted, mounting bracket 102 is disposed centrally about the first transverse flange portion 117 at the top of side wall 106 along mounting flange 114.

FIG. 5 is a detailed view of section A of FIG. 4. In the embodiment depicted, mounting bracket 102 comprises an L-shaped main body having a horizontal top body portion 512, a vertical rear body portion 514 extending downwardly from a rear edge of the top body portion 512, a bottom surface 505, and an opening 515 for transversally receiving a bar 304 of a wheeled toter style refuse container 200 and securing the mountable refuse container 100 thereabout. An interior angle formed at a juncture between the horizontal top body portion 512 and the vertical rear body portion 514 is from about 85 to about 150 degrees. The mounting bracket 102 supports the collection bin 116 when the mounting bracket 102 is mounted to a fixed surface (e.g. bar 304). The mounting bracket 102 forms a substantially inverted U configuration with opening 515 adapted to transversally receive a bar 304. Where horizontal top body portion 512 and vertical rear body portion 514 juncture, interior angle 504 is formed. Interior angle 504 is from about 85 to about 150 degrees, preferably from about 90 to about 130 degrees. Where horizontal top body portion 512 and the lip portion 510 juncture, interior angle 506 is formed. Interior angle 506 is from about 85 to about 150 degrees, preferably from about 90 to about 130 degrees. This gentle tapering of the members 510 and 514 facilitates the stackability of a plurality of mountable recycle containers 100.

Referring again to FIG. 5, lip portion 510 has a thickness 508 of from about 0.5 inches to about 3 inches. The distance 502 of the opening between the interior surfaces (facing one another) of vertical rear body portion 514 and lip portion 510 from about 1 inch to about 3 inches, preferably from about 1.25 to about 2 inches. The length 516 of vertical rear body portion 514 (as measured along the interior opening of the inverted U of the mounting bracket 102) is from about 2 to about 8 inches, preferably from about 3 to about 6 inches.

In one aspect (not depicted), the top surface of the mounting bracket lies flush with the flange. In another aspect (as depicted in FIG. 5), the mounting bracket is not flush, and is fixed to the flange such that a bottom surface of the mounting bracket is fixed to a top surface of the flange. This arrangement is preferred for stackability of multiple mountable recycle containers 100 as it allows for nesting of the mounting brackets.

FIG. 6 is an orthogonal view of a mountable recycle container 100. Referring to FIG. 6, mounting flange 114 comprises mounting bracket 102 disposed centrally along the first transverse flange portion on top of back wall 106 and two handles 104 disposed centrally along the distal and proximal flange portions at the top of side walls 110 and 112.

Referring again to FIG. 6, mounting bracket 102 has a transverse length 602 of from about 2 inches to about 10 inches, preferably from about 3 inches to about five inches. In the embodiment depicted, mounting bracket 102 has a depth 604 (as measured from the exterior surfaces) of from about 0.75 inches to about 2.5 inches, preferably from about 1 inch to about 2 inches.

Referring again to FIG. 6, the base member 406 of collection bin 118 has a length 606 of from about ten to about thirty inches, preferably from about eighteen to about twenty-two inches and a depth 612 of from about 6 inches to about 16 inches, preferably from about 12 inches to about 14 inches. In the embodiment depicted, the top opening 116 of collection bin 118 has a length 614 of from about eleven to about thirty two inches, preferably from about eighteen to about twenty two inches. Whereas mounting flange 114 protrudes a distance of from about 0.5 to about 4 inches, preferably from about 1 to about 2 inches, from the edge of the collection bin 118, and handles 104 protrude a distance 610 of from about 1 to about 4 inches, preferably from about 1.5 to about 3 inches, from the edge of the collection bin 118, the mountable recycle container 100 has a length 608 at its longest point (as measured from the exterior surfaces).

Referring again to FIG. 6, side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 (not visible in this view but see FIG. 1) taper downwardly and inwardly toward the base member 406. At its widest point, the top opening 116 of the container extends a distance 614 of from about ten to about thirty inches, preferably from about eighteen to about twenty-two inches. Thus, the tapering of side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 (not visible in this view but see FIG. 1) downwardly and inwardly toward the base member 406 such that a circumference of the base member is from about 70 to about 98, preferably from about 80 to about 95 percent of the circumference of the top opening.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a mountable recycle container 100. Referring to FIG. 7, mounting flange 114 comprises mounting bracket 102 disposed centrally along the first transverse flange portion at the top of back wall 106 and two handles 104 disposed centrally along the distal and proximal flange portions at the top of side walls 110 and 112. Handles 104 have a length 704 of from about 3 to about 10 inches, preferably from about 4 to about 4.5 inches. Mounting bracket 102 has a width 702 of from about 0.75 inches to about 2.5 inches, preferably from about 1 to about 2.25 inches.

FIG. 8 is a bottom view of a mountable recycle container 100. Referring to FIG. 8, side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, and front wall 108 have a thickness 804 of from about 1/32 to about ⅛ inch.

It will be understood that while a particular sized mountable recycle container 100 is shown, it will be understood that the sizes and shapes of the mountable recycle container 100 are relative and that many different sized refuse containers 100 could be provided, depending on the needs of the user.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of two mountable recycle containers 100, 100A in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200. FIG. 10 is an orthogonal view of the two mountable recycle containers 100, 100A depicted in FIG. 9 as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200. As depicted, mounting bracket 102A is in contacting engagement with bar 304 when the mountable recycle container 100A is mounted on wheeled toter style refuse container 200. As depicted, mounting bracket 102 is in contacting engagement with front wall 108 when the mountable recycle container 100 is mounted on mountable recycle container 100A.

Referring to FIG. 10, mountable recycle container 100A is depicted as if it is sectioned along the central plane of the mounting bracket 102A. When in use in the configuration depicted in FIG. 10, there are at least two contact points 1004, 1006 between mountable recycle containers 100 and 100A and at least two contact points 1008, 1010 between mountable recycle container 100A and wheeled toter style refuse container 200. As depicted, members 512A, 514A of mounting bracket 102A surround bar 304 on two sides when the mountable recycle container 100A is mounted on wheeled toter style refuse container 200. As depicted, members 512, 514 of mounting bracket 102 hang over the portion of mounting flange 114 that is affixed to front wall 108 when mountable recycle container 100 is mounted on mountable recycle container 100A.

FIG. 11 is an orthogonal view of two mountable recycle containers 100, 100A in use as mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container 200 in another arrangement. As depicted, mounting bracket 102A is in contacting engagement with bar 304 when the mountable recycle container 100A is mounted on wheeled toter style refuse container 200. As depicted, mounting bracket 102 is in contacting engagement with front rim 1102 of wheeled toter style refuse container 200.

In accordance with this invention, there is also provided a mounting bracket mountable on a lip 103 of a recycle container, the mounting bracket dimensioned to support the recycle container when mounted and comprising a bottom surface dimensioned to cooperate for mounting with a bar 304 of a wheeled toter style refuse container 200.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a novel mounting bracket 1202 affixed on a prior art recycle bin 1200. FIG. 13 is an exploded view of a novel mounting bracket 1202 for mounting on a prior art recycle bin 1200 having a lip.

Prior art recycle bins containers include, e.g., Rubbermaid Commercial Recycling Box sold under part number RCP 5712-06 BLU or curbside bins sold by Recy-CAL Supply Company under part numbers OT1400BL and OT1800BL.

Novel mounting bracket 1202 may be manufactured from a rust resistant metal or metal alloy or a thermoformable plastic such as polypropylene or polyethylene.

Referring to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 12, mounting bracket 1202 is disposed centrally along the first transverse flange portion at the top of back wall 1204. In another embodiment (not depicted), mounting bracket 1202 is disposed centrally along second transverse flange portion the top of front wall 1206. In another embodiment (not depicted), two mounting brackets 1202 are disposed centrally along second transverse flange portion the top of (front wall 1206) and first transverse flange portion (back wall 1204).

Referring again to FIG. 13, back wall 1204 comprises a plurality of apertures that are configured to receive a fastener 1306 and affix mounting bracket 1202. Mounting bracket 1202 comprises a plurality of mating apertures 1304 configured to receive a fastener 1306. By way of example, but not limitation, a fastener that is used with this invention includes a screw 1306 and bolt 1308 assembly. These apertures may be preformed in the recycle bin or drilled (or otherwise created) by the user.

To mount mounting bracket 1202 on a prior art recycle bin 1200, mounting bracket 1202 is placed over lip 1302 of recycle bin 1200 such that apertures 1300 and 1304 are in alignment and a screw bolt assembly is inserted to secure the mounting bracket 1202 on recycle bin 1200.

FIG. 14A is an orthogonal side view of a novel bracket for mounting on a prior art recycle bin. FIG. 14B is an orthogonal front view of a novel bracket for mounting on a prior art recycle bin. Referring to FIG. 14A and the embodiment depicted, mounting bracket 1202 comprises a main body having a horizontal top body portion 1412, a vertical front body portion 1410 extending downwardly from a front edge of the top body portion, and a vertical rear body portion 1414 extending downwardly from a rear edge of the top body portion 1412. The mounting bracket supports a recycle container when the mounting bracket 1202 is mounted to a fixed surface via its substantially inverted U configuration. Where horizontal top body portion 1412 and vertical rear body portion 1414 juncture, angle 1404 is formed. Angle 1404 is from about 85 to about 150 degrees, preferably from about 90 to about 130 degrees. Where horizontal top body portion 1412 and vertical front body portion 1410 juncture, angle 1406 is formed. Angle 1406 is from about 85 to about 150 degrees, preferably from about 90 to about 130 degrees.

Referring again to FIG. 14A, members 1414, 1412, 1410 have a thickness 1418 of from about 1/32 to about ⅛ inch. The distance 1402 (as measured from the exterior surfaces) of vertical rear body portion 1414 is from about 1 to about 3.25 inches. The length 1416 of vertical rear body portion 1414 (as measured from the exterior surfaces is from about 2 to about 12 inches, preferably from about 3 to about 8 inches.

Referring again to FIG. 14A, vertical front body portion 1410 has a length 1408 (as measured from the exterior surfaces) of from about 2 to about 8 inches, preferably from about 3 to about 6 inches. In another embodiment, length 1408 is such length as required to provide adequate support for the mounting bracket 1202 to remain secured when the recycle bin is full and mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container as depicted in FIGS. 2, 9 and 11.

Referring to FIG. 14B, apertures 1304A, 1304B are disposed such that they are in alignment with apertures 1300 on recycle bin 1200. In the embodiment depicted, aperture 1304A is disposed about vertical rear body portion 1414 at a distance 1458 of from about 60% to about 95% from the top 1420 of mounting bracket 1202. Similarly, aperture 1304B is disposed about vertical rear body portion 1414 at a distance 1460 of from about 60% to about 95% from the top 1420 of mounting bracket 1202. It is not required that distance 1458 and 1468 be the same, but may be in some aspects of this embodiment.

Referring again to FIG. 14B, aperture 1304A is disposed about vertical rear body portion 1414 at a distance 1454 of from about 5% to about 35% from the left edge 1422 of mounting bracket 1202. Similarly, aperture 1304B is disposed about rear body portion 1414 at a distance 1456 of from about 5% to about 35% from the right edge 1424 of mounting bracket 1202. It is not required that distance 1454 and 1456 be the same, but may be in some aspects of this embodiment.

Referring again to FIG. 14B, mounting bracket 1202 has a transverse length 1452 of from about 2 inches to about 6 inches, preferably from about 3 inches to about five inches.

FIG. 15A is an orthogonal side view of one embodiment 1600 of a novel mounting bracket. FIG. 15B is a perspective view of embodiment 1600 of a novel mounting bracket depicted in FIG. 15A. FIG. 15C is a perspective view of embodiment 1650 of a novel mounting bracket. Embodiments 1600 and 1650 are substantially the same in respective dimensions and materials as previously described with respect to embodiment 1202. They differ primarily in the means of attachment to the prior art recycle bin. Embodiments 1600 and 1650 do not use fasteners for attachment to the flange of the recycle bin. Rather, the horizontal top body portion has a concave indentation 1628 therein for transversally receiving the lip of the recycle container and securing the lip therein. A contour of an exterior peripheral surface of the vertical rear body portion is configured to correspond with a contour of a wall of the recycle container.

Referring again to FIGS. 15A and 15B, mounting bracket 1600 comprises an indented channel 1628 contoured and dimensioned to mate with and receive the lip 1630 of a prior art recycle bin or other refuse container. In the embodiment depicted, the recycle bin flange 1604 comprises a downwardly protruding lip 1630 and a shoulder 1632. When mounted for use, indented channel 1628 of mounting bracket 1600 receives lip 1630, thereby securing the mounting bracket to the lip.

Referring again to FIGS. 15A and 15B, mounting bracket 1600 comprises a solid member having an inverted U cutout 1602. Rear vertical body portion 1606 forms one side of the inverted U cutout and is wider 1620, 1614 and longer 1616, 1612 than front vertical body portion 1602. When mounted, rear vertical body portion 1606 is preferably in contacting engagement with the wall 1626 of the recycle bin or refuse container.

Referring again to FIG. 15A, rear vertical body portion has a length 1616 of from about 2 to about 8 inches, preferably from about 3 to about 6 inches, and front vertical body portion 1602 has a length 1612 of from about 0.5 to about 3 inches. Referring again to FIG. 15A, rear vertical body portion has a width 1620 of from about 0.25 to about three inches and front vertical body portion 1602 has a width 1614 of from about 1/32 inch to about ¼ inch. In another embodiment, lengths 1612, 1616 and widths 1614, 1620 are such lengths and widths as required to provide adequate support for the mounting bracket 1600 to remain secured when the recycle bin is full and mounted on a wheeled toter style refuse container as depicted in FIGS. 2, 9 and 11. Thus, inverted U-shaped cutout has a corresponding length 1616 and width 1618.

Referring again to FIG. 15A, concave indentation (channel) 1628 has a depth 1622 of from about ⅛ inch to about 1.5 inches and is disposed a distance 1608 of from about 1 to about 2.75 inches from the outermost edge of front vertical body portion 1602.

Referring again to FIG. 15A, concave indentation (channel) 1628 has a contour that mates with the contour of the shoulder 1632 of the lip, thus distance 1610 is from about 1/32 to about 1 inch and distance 1624 is from about ⅛ to about 2 inches.

Referring to FIG. 15C, embodiment 1650 is substantially the same as depicted and described with reference to embodiment 1600 in FIGS. 15A and 15B with the exception that it comprises a member connecting two mounting brackets 1600, having a length 1656 of member 1654.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a mountable recycle container 1500. The embodiment depicted is substantially the same as described and depicted with respect to mountable recycle container 100, with the exception that it additionally comprises stepped portions 1502 in base member 406 and support ribs 1506 on the mounting bracket 102. This arrangement provides for stress distribution to prevent distortion of the container when it is lifted. Optionally and additionally, drain holes 1504 are formed in base member 406 to facilitate release of trapped liquids.

Manufacturing Methods and Materials

In one embodiment, the mountable recycle container 100 comprises a material that is strong, waterproof, durable and weatherproof for the typical conditions encountered by a curbside refuse bin. In one embodiment, it is preferred that the material be easily washable. By way of example, but not limitation, in one embodiment, the mountable recycle container 100 is constructed of a thermoformable plastic such as polypropylene or polyethylene. In a preferred embodiment, the present invention is molded of a cross linked polyethylene.

By way of example, but not limitation, the mountable recycle container 100 is molded from a thermoformable plastic in a single operation to form a complete mountable recycle container 100. In one embodiment, the mountable recycle container 100 is formed by rotational molding using a hollow mold (not shown) having the inside shaped in the form of the desired container. Typically, the molds are a clam shell type design and open up so that the formed container can be removed. Rotational molding is well known in the art but essentially involves placing the mold on a pedestal which turns in a gyro-type motion around two axes at the same time. The mold is loaded with the amount of powered plastic resin needed to form the container to the desired thickness. The mold is then moved into a heater, typically a hot air oven, where it rotates at approximately 500 degrees. The resin forms to the wall of the mold creating a plastic lining on the inside. After cooling, the mold is opened up and the container removed as a plastic part. In one embodiment 1500 depicted in FIG. 15, the mold form contains stepped indentations in those areas forming the side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, front wall 108, and/or base member 406.

In one embodiment 1500 depicted in FIG. 15, the mold form contains stepped indentations in those areas forming the side walls 110, 112, back wall 106, front wall 108, and/or base member 406.

In another embodiment, the present invention is manufactured according to any method known to, or devised by, one skilled in the art for the manufacture of molded plastic containers.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the invention be regarded as including such equivalent construction insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the conception regarded as the present invention.