Title:
Bag dispenser for trash receptacle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The bag dispenser includes a container enclosing a roll of end to end connected plastic trash bags. Spindle elements are fixed to the end flaps of the container and extend in opposite directions towards the interior of the container. The spindle elements are adapted to be received within openings in the ends of the roll to support the roll for free rotation within the container. A retainer is provided to removably secure the container to the floor of the trash receptacle. The retainer defines a recess adapted to receive the container. Gripping members are provided for retaining the container within the retainer recess. The retainer is removably attached to the floor of the receptacle.



Inventors:
Wolfson, Lance (Glen Cove, NY, US)
Singer, Craig (Fair Haven, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/455532
Publication Date:
12/10/2009
Filing Date:
06/02/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/16
View Patent Images:
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20030116569Container for storing hospital and agri-food industry wasteJune, 2003Mercier
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20080017641Indicator cap for gas cylindersJanuary, 2008Saul
20060124652Sealing type container having improved sealabilityJune, 2006Ohtsuki et al.



Primary Examiner:
GROSSO, HARRY A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EPSTEIN DRANGEL LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A bag dispenser for a trash receptacle of the type having a bottom surface, the dispenser comprising a container for a roll of end to end connected bags, said roll defining an opening at each end, said container having end flaps, spindle elements fixed to said end flaps and extending in opposite directions towards the interior of said container, said spindle elements being adapted to be received within the respective openings of the roll ends to support the roll for rotation within said container, a retainer for said container, said retainer defining a recess adapted to removably receive said container, means for retaining said container within said retainer recess, and means for removably attaching said retainer to the bottom surface of the trash receptacle.

2. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said retaining means comprises first and second gripping members extending from said retainer and spaced from each other so as to receive said container therebetween.

3. The dispenser of claim 2 wherein said gripping members are flexible.

4. The dispenser of claim 3 wherein each gripping member has a surface that carries a locking part.

5. The dispenser of claim 4 wherein said locking part has an inwardly facing inclined top surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface of said locking part extending from said top surface to said gripping member surface, in a direction substantially perpendicular to said gripping member surface.

6. The dispenser of claim 4 wherein said retainer has a bottom and said bottom surface of said locking part is spaced from the bottom of said retainer by a distance at least as great as the height of the container.

7. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein each end of said container includes a second end flap having an opening adapted to accommodate said spindle element.

8. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said retainer attaching means comprises hook and loop tape sections.

9. A bag dispenser for a trash receptacle of the type having a bottom surface, the dispenser comprising a container for a roll of end to end connected bags, a retainer for said container, said retainer defining a recess adapted to removably receive said container, means for retaining said container within said retainer recess, and means for removably attaching said retainer to the bottom surface of the trash receptacle.

10. The dispenser of claim 9 wherein said retaining means comprises first and second gripping members extending from said retainer and spaced from each other so as to receive said container therebetween.

11. The dispenser of claim 10 wherein said gripping members are flexible.

12. The dispenser of claim 10 wherein each gripping member has a surface that carries a locking part.

13. The dispenser of claim 12 wherein said locking part has an inwardly facing inclined top surface and a bottom surface, said bottom surface of said locking part extending from said top surface to said gripping member surface, in a direction substantially perpendicular to said gripping member surface.

14. The dispenser of claim 13 wherein said retainer has a bottom and said bottom surface of said locking part is spaced from the bottom of said retainer by a distance at least as great as the height of the container.

15. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said retainer attaching means comprises hook and loop tape sections.

16. A bag dispenser for a trash receptacle of the type having a bottom surface, the dispenser comprising a container for a roll of end to end connected bags, said roll defining an opening at each end, said container having end flaps, spindle elements fixed to said end flaps and extending in opposite directions towards the interior of said container, said spindle elements being adapted to be received within the respective openings of the roll ends to support the roll for rotation within said container, and means for removably attaching said container to the bottom surface of the trash receptacle.

17. The dispenser of claim 16 wherein each end of said container includes a second end flap having an opening adapted to accommodate said spindle element.

18. The dispenser of claim 16 wherein said container attaching means comprises hook and loop tape sections.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Applicants claim priority on Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/130,975 filed Jun. 5, 2008.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A “SEQUENCE LISTING”, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER

PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX SUBMITTED ON COMPACT DISC

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to dispensers of plastic trash bags and, in particular, a bag dispenser designed for use in a trash receptacle.

2. Description of Prior Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Plastic bags are commonly used in order to discard trash. Often, the plastic trash bags are inserted in a trash receptacle to act as a liner. The receptacle provides the structure to hold the bag open such that trash can be easily deposited into the bag. When the bag is full, it is removed from the receptacle, closed with a twist tie or other fastener, and discarded. A fresh bag is then placed in the receptacle as a liner.

The present invention is a solution to the problem of the inconvenience of looking for a fresh trash receptacle liner after the previous bag is filled and ready to be discarded. It provides a simple, inexpensive mechanism to store a roll of fresh bags so that they are readily available when needed. It also permits a rolls of bags to be replaced in an easy and sanitary manner.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,168,591 to Miller discloses a trash bag dispenser for receiving a roll of continuously joined trash bags that are separable from each other. The bag roll is situated with a housing. The housing is designed to be received in a trash receptacle for dispensing the trash bags. The dispenser housing has a body and cover with a slot through which the bags can be removed from the housing. The cover is movably connected to the housing body by a living hinge. A snap closure is provided to keep the cover closed as the bags are removed through the slot. The trash bag dispenser is attached to the floor of the trash receptacle.

The Miller invention has several drawbacks. The roll of bags is not held within the housing in a manner that promotes smooth rotation of the roll as bags are removed through the slot in the cover, leading to frequent jamming of the bags. Correcting the problem requires access to the interior of the housing, by detaching a snap closure and moving the cover to the open position, to realign the roll.

The Miller dispenser housing is relatively expensive, being fabricated of molded plastic. It is not discarded when empty. It is designed to be reused and to remain in the trash receptacle. New rolls of bags are inserted into the housing when the old roll is used up.

The cover is attached to the housing body by a living hinge. Inserting a new roll of bags into the housing requires access to the housing interior by detaching the snap closure of the cover and moving the cover to its open position to insert a new roll. Thus, replacement of the bag roll requires substantial manipulation of the housing, an activity that may be perceived by the user as being unsanitary because it requires reaching into the trash receptacle and opening the top of the housing which is situated at the bottom of the trash receptacle.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,671,847 to Pedersen et al. relates to a trash bag dispenser in the form of a flexible plastic pouch. The pouch has an adhesive strip on the bottom for mounting to the interior of a trash container and an opening on the top to provide access to a continuous strip of trash can liners which are folded in an accordion-like manner within the pouch or provided in a twisted coil.

Because the pouch of the Pedersen et al. dispenser is flexible, it is subject to being crushed by the weight of a bag filled with trash that sits on top of it. The manner in which the bags are stored in the pouch does not promote easy removal of the bags from the pouch and frequent jamming can occur. Further, since the pouch is attached to the floor of the trash receptacle, removal and replacement of the pouch may be considered to be unsanitary.

Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0258177 to Woodsen discloses a storage dispenser for trash can liners that includes a receiving member having a generally rectangular cross section. In one embodiment designed for mounting to an outside wall of a trash receptacle, the receiving member includes a slot though which trash can liners may be dispensed from a box or roll then through the dispenser wall. In another embodiment, the storage unit is situated in a horizontal position with the trash receptacle, and is sized to receive and store one or more consumer retail size boxes or rolls of trash bags. The storage unit or dispenser is intended to provide a ready supply of trash can liners in order to eliminate the need to search for liners.

The Woodsen dispenser is an improvement over the Miller configuration to some extent because it does not require releasing a snap fastener or opening a cover to access a roll carrying housing in order to replace the roll, each time a new roll is required. However, when the member is placed horizontally on the floor within the receptacle, the box containing the bag roll cannot be removed from the member easily.

The member has an open end through which box must be removed. Removal of the box through the open end of the member requires significant manipulation by the user of an object in the bottom of the trash receptacle. Either the member has to be detached from the receptacle floor and rotated to a position where the box can be moved out of the open end of the member without interference from the side of the receptacle or the member must be situated within the receptacle at a distance from the side at least as great as the length of the roll containing box so the box can be moved horizontally out the open end of the member. This may be perceived as unsanitary by the user. Therefore, easy and sanitary replacement of the bag roll remains a problem.

Woodsen also eliminates some of the problems associated with the crushable pouch of Pedersen et al. It does that by utilizing a structural member designed to receive a box containing a trash bag roll. However, it does not solve the problem of jamming of the roll as bags are removed that is inherent in both Miller and Pedersen.

It is, therefore, a prime object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle in which removal of individual bags from the roll is facilitated.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle in which the roll of bags rotates freely within the container to facilitate removal of the bags.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle wherein oppositely oriented spindle elements are provided on the interior surfaces of the container ends to eliminate jamming of the roll as bags are removed.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle wherein the bag container is disposable and replacement of roll of bags can be accomplished in an easy and sanitary manner.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle wherein the roll container is easily inserted into and removed from a retainer attached to the floor of the trash receptacle.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle wherein the roll container is secured to the retainer in a “snap-fit” fashion.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle wherein the roll container is received into the retainer by simply pushing it down into the retainer through an opening in the top thereof.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a bag dispenser is provided for a trash receptacle of the type having a bottom surface. The dispenser includes a container for a roll of end to end connected bags. The roll defines an opening at each end. The container has end flaps. Spindle elements are fixed to the end flaps and extend in opposite directions towards the interior of the container. The spindle elements are adapted to be received within the openings of the ends of the roll to support the roll for rotation within the container. A retainer is provided for the container. The retainer defines a recess adapted to removably receive the container. Means are provided for retaining the container within the retainer recess. Means are also provided for removably attaching the retainer to the bottom surface of the receptacle.

The retaining means includes first and second gripping members extending from the retainer and spaced from each other so as to receive the container therebetween.

The gripping members are flexible.

Each gripping member has a surface that carries a locking part with an inwardly facing inclined top surface and a bottom surface. The bottom surface of the locking part extends from the top surface of the part to the surface of the gripping member, in a direction substantially perpendicular to the gripping member surface.

The retainer recess has a bottom. The bottom surface of the locking part is spaced from the bottom surface of the recess by a distance at least as great as the height of the container.

Each end of the container includes a second end flap. The second end flap has an opening adapted to accommodate the spindle element.

The retainer attaching means preferably includes hook and loop tape sections.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a bag dispenser is provided for a trash receptacle of the type having a bottom surface. The dispenser includes a container for a roll of end to end connected bags. A retainer is provided for the container. The retainer defines a recess adapted to removably receive the container. Means are provided for retaining the container within the retainer recess. Means are also provided for removably attaching the retainer to the bottom surface of the receptacle.

The retaining means includes first and second gripping members extending from the retainer body and spaced from each other so as to receive the container therebetween.

The gripping members are flexible.

Each gripping member has a surface that carries a locking part with an inwardly facing inclined top surface and a bottom surface. The bottom surface of the locking part extends from the top surface of the part to the gripping member surface, in a direction substantially perpendicular to the gripping member surface.

The retainer recess has a bottom. The bottom surface of the locking part is spaced from the bottom surface of the recess by a distance at least as great as the height of the container.

The retainer attaching means preferably includes hook and loop tape sections.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a bag dispenser is provided for a trash receptacle of the type having a bottom surface. The dispenser includes a container for a roll of end to end connected bags. The roll defines an opening at each end. The container has end flaps. Spindle elements are fixed to the end flaps and extend in opposite directions towards the interior of the container. The spindle elements are adapted to be received within the respective openings in the roll ends to support the roll for rotation within the container. Means are provided for removably attaching the container to the bottom surface of the receptacle.

The container attaching means preferably includes hook and loop tape sections.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF DRAWINGS

To these and to such other objects that may hereinafter appears, the present invention relates to a bag dispenser for a trash receptacle as described in detail in the following specification and recited in the annexed claims, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals refer to like parts and in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a trash receptacle with a cut-away section showing the bag dispenser of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bag dispenser for the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing the components of the bag dispenser of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the container of the present invention with the flaps open and the roll and spindle elements exploded; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged end view of the container with the top flap open, the side flaps in the closed position and the spindle element exploded.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As seen in FIG. 1, the bag dispenser of the present invention, generally designated A, is intended for use in a trash receptacle, generally designated B, having an interior bottom or floor surface 10. Dispenser A includes two principle components: a container 12 preferably made of a paper product such as thin cardboard and a retainer 14 preferably formed of injection molded plastic. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, container 12 is adapted to be received in a recess defined by the walls and floor of retainer 14.

As best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, container 12 is an elongated box-like enclosure with a top 16 and open ends. Each end of container 14 has side flaps 18 and 20 as well as a top flap 22. Flaps 18, 20 and 22 of each end of the container fold to close the ends of the container so as to enclose a roll, generally designated C, of end to end connected plastic trash bags 24. As is conventional, bags 24 of roll C are connected together by a perforation line so as to facilitate the separation of the individual bags from the roll when needed. Roll c may include 50 bags.

A spindle element 26, consisting of a base 28 and a protrusion 30, is fixed to the interior surface 32 of each top flap 22. This is accomplished by gluing the exterior surface of base 28 to surface 32 of the top flap.

Each of the side flaps 18, 20 is provided with a generally semi-circular cut-away section to accommodate the spindle element 26 when the side flaps are closed, as illustrated in FIG. 5.

As best seen in FIG. 5, roll C of bags 24 has an opening at each end which is a result of rolling the strip of end to end connected bags. When the flaps at each end of the container are closed, the protrusions 30 are aligned but oppositely oriented and the spindle elements at each end of the container are received within the openings at the opposite ends of the roll. This facilitates the free rotation of the roll as the bags are removed through the slot-like opening 34 on top 16 of the container.

Protrusions 30 may have any shape suitable for use as a spindle, such as the truncated cone shape illustrated in the drawings. However, cylindrical and conical protrusions may be employed, as well.

Opening 34 is defined by perforations which form an elongated oval in the top surface of the container. Before the first bag is removed from the container, the portion of the top of the container within the perforations is removed by the user.

As best seen in FIG. 3, container 12 is held to the bottom surface 10 of trash receptacle B by retainer 14. Retainer 14 is box-like in structure, with a floor, sides and ends defining a recess with an open top adapted to receive the container.

Container 12 is retained within the recesses defined by retainer 14 in a “snap-fit” fashion by a pair of spaced, oppositely oriented, flexible, elongated gripping members 36, 38 extending upwardly from the opposite ends of the retainer. Each of the gripping members 36, 38 has one or more generally triangular shaped locking parts 40 mounted on its interior surface and extending toward the interior of the retainer.

Each of the locking parts has an inwardly facing inclined top surface 42 and a bottom surface 44. The bottom surface 44 of the locking part extends from the end of the top surface 42 to the interior surface of the gripping member from which it extends, in a direction substantially perpendicular to the interior surface of the gripping member. The bottom surface 42 of each of the locking parts 40 is spaced from floor of retainer by a distance at least equal to the height of the container.

The flexibility of the plastic of which the gripping members are made and the shape of the locking parts, particularly the inclination of the top surface 42 thereof, permits the container to be inserted into the retainer easily and without manipulation of anything in the interior of the trash receptacle. It is therefore not perceived as unsanitary by the user.

In particular, the container is received within the retainer recess by simply pushing it down into the retainer, which causes the gripping members to separate or “cam” out of the way of the container, until the container is fully seated in the retainer recess. The gripping members then return to their original positions, with the lock parts lodged over the top of the container, to secure the container in the retainer.

To replace the container when the roll of bags is finished, the free ends of the gripping members are simply moved apart and the container is removed from the retainer and discarded.

The retainer is fixed to floor 10 of the trash receptacle so that it is not removed from the trash receptacle when an empty container is removed. Preferably, sections of adhesive backed hook and loop tape 46 are used for this purpose. Industrial grade VELCO dots are well suited for this purpose.

It will now be appreciated that the present invention addresses the problem of inconvenience of looking for a new trash liner after a bag/liner is filled and ready to be discarded. It provides a mechanism, including a roll of plastic bags in a specialty designed disposable container and a structure to secure the container in place in the bottom of the trash receptacle, to allow for a new bag to be readily available.

The invention includes two main components. One component is a container made of a paper product which encloses multiple plastic trash bags connected end to end in a continuous roll, where each individual bag can be separated from the adjacent bag with a slight tug which will permit the perforation separating the two bags to split apart. The container is fabricated with plastic spindle elements on the side flaps to assure the roll rotates freely such that the bags can be removed through a slot on the top of the container, which will be opened by the consumer when the container is installed.

The second component is a retainer for the container which can be secured to the floor of the trash receptacle with hook and loop tape to hold the retainer in place, and permit the retainer to be removed for cleaning. The retainer is an injected molded plastic structure which receives the container and holds it in place at the floor of the trash receptacle against the upward force of bag removal with two gripping elements, which are strong enough to retain the container, yet flexible enough to allow easy replacement of the container when it is empty.

While only a single preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed for purposes of illustration, it is obvious that many modifications and variations could be made thereto. It is intended to cover all of those modifications and variations which fall within the scope of the present invention, as defined by the following claims.