Title:
DIAPER DISPOSAL CONTAINER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A waste disposal container for soiled items includes a container body, a lid over a top opening of the container body, and one or more diaphragms and a retaining ring installed inside the container body. A step feature is formed on the interior surface of the container body below the top opening. The diaphragms and the retaining ring rest on the step feature. Each diaphragm is a disk shaped member made of a flexible and resilient material such as rubber, and is partitioned into a plurality of wedge shaped sections by a plurality of radial cuts. Two or more diaphragms may be overlapped and their cuts are offset with respect to each other. The retaining ring is disposed above the diaphragms. In use, a disposable bag is placed inside the container and is held at its top between the container body and the diaphragms and the retaining ring.



Inventors:
Conrad, Derek (Riverside, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/612497
Publication Date:
05/05/2011
Filing Date:
11/04/2009
Assignee:
BABY TREND INC. (Ontario, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D51/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080138477Food Storage and Serving DeviceJune, 2008Mular et al.
20030024932Insert for an insulated containerFebruary, 2003Mcqueen
20170008391METHOD FOR FASTENING AN ACCESSORY IN A PLASTIC FUEL TANKJanuary, 2017Criel et al.
20170008670FOLDABLE SILICONE CUPJanuary, 2017Wu et al.
20140191085OUTER FUEL TANK ACCESS COVER, WING AND AIRCRAFTJuly, 2014Alazraki et al.
20160251157TANKS AND METHODS OF CONSTRUCTING TANKSSeptember, 2016Rea
20090050642Bottle holderFebruary, 2009Williams
20040074906Closure cp for a motor vehicle radiatorApril, 2004Reutter
20110220669Beverage cup with integral foam insulating jacketSeptember, 2011Besser
20140246435READY TO FEED CONTAINER WITH DRINKING DISPENSER AND SEALING MEMBER, AND RELATED METHODSeptember, 2014Py et al.
20100108715DISPENSING DEVICE, RECEPTACLE FOR SAID DEVICE AND CORRESPONDING SYSTEM FOR PREPARING A DRINKMay, 2010Santagiuliana



Primary Examiner:
SMALLEY, JAMES N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Chen Yoshimura LLP (Sunnyvale, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disposal container comprising: a container body for containing items being disposed of, the container body defining a top opening, the container body having a step feature on an interior surface thereof disposed below the top opening; one or more diaphragms disposed inside the container body on the step features, each diaphragms having a disk shape that matches an interior cross-sectional shape of the container body at the step feature, each diaphragm being made of a flexible and resilient material and having a plurality of radial cuts which partition the diaphragm into a plurality of wedge shaped sections; a retaining ring disposed inside the container body above the one or more diaphragms, the retaining ring having an exterior shape that matches an interior shape of a section of the container body between the top opening and the step features; and a lid disposed over the opening of the container body.

2. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein the one or more diaphragms are made of rubber.

3. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein the one or more diaphragms include two diaphragms overlapped with each other, and wherein the cuts of the two diaphragms are offset with respect to each other in an angular direction.

4. The disposal container of claim 3, wherein the two diaphragms are joined together forming one unit.

5. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein the retaining ring is made of plastic.

6. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein a height of the retaining ring plus a thickness of the one or more diaphragm is less than or equal to a distance between the top opening and the step features of the container body.

7. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein a section of the container body between the top opening and the step feature has a cylindrical shape with a uniform diameter, wherein the one or more diaphragms have a round shape, and wherein the retaining ring has a cylindrical shape with a uniform exterior diameter.

8. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein the step feature is a ring shaped protrusion on the interior surface of the container body.

9. The disposal container of claim 1, wherein the step feature is formed by a lower section of the interior surface of the container body having a smaller circumference than an upper section above the lower section.

10. A disposal container comprising: a container body for containing items being disposed of, the container body defining a top opening, the container body having a step feature on an interior surface thereof disposed below the top opening; a retaining ring disposed inside the container body on the step features, the retaining ring having an exterior shape that matches an interior shape of a section of the container body between the top opening and the step features; and a lid disposed over the opening of the container body.

11. The disposal container of claim 10, wherein the retaining ring is made of plastic.

12. The disposal container of claim 10, wherein a height of the retaining ring is less than or equal to a distance between the top opening and the step features of the container body.

13. The disposal container of claim 10, wherein a section of the container body between the top opening and the step feature has a cylindrical shape with a uniform diameter, and wherein the retaining ring has a cylindrical shape with a uniform exterior diameter.

14. The disposal container of claim 10, wherein the step feature is a ring shaped protrusion on the interior surface of the container body.

15. The disposal container of claim 10, wherein the step feature is formed by a lower section of the interior surface of the container body having a smaller circumference than an upper section above the lower section.

16. The disposal container of claim 10, wherein the lid is pivotally attached to the container body.

17. A disposal container comprising: a container body for containing items being disposed of, the container body defining a top opening, the container body having a step feature on an interior surface thereof disposed below the top opening; one or more diaphragms disposed inside the container body on the step features, each diaphragms having a disk shape that matches an interior cross-sectional shape of the container body at the step feature, each diaphragm being made of a flexible and resilient material and having a plurality of radial cuts which partition the diaphragm into a plurality of wedge shaped sections; and a lid disposed over the opening of the container body.

18. The disposal container of claim 17, wherein the one or more diaphragms are made of rubber.

19. The disposal container of claim 17, wherein the one or more diaphragms include two diaphragms overlapped with each other, and wherein the cuts of the two diaphragms are offset with respect to each other in an angular direction.

20. The disposal container of claim 19, wherein the two diaphragms are joined together forming one unit.

21. The disposal container of claim 17, wherein the step feature is a ring shaped protrusion on the interior surface of the container body.

22. The disposal container of claim 17, wherein the step feature is formed by a lower section of the interior surface of the container body having a smaller circumference than an upper section above the lower section.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a disposal container for soiled items such as diapers.

2. Description of the Related Art

Many designs of waste disposal containers for soiled items, such as diapers, have been described. Some examples include disposal containers described in U.S. Pat. App. Pub. Nos. 2007/0246465 and 2007/0125792, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,651,231, 5,765,339, 7,316,100, 7,146,785, 6,612,099, 7,114,314 and D431888.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a disposal container that substantially obviates one or more of the problems due to limitations and disadvantages of the related art.

An object of the present invention is to provide a disposal container having a simple structure at the same time proving an effective sealing to prevent odor from escaping from the container.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be set forth in the descriptions that follow and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims thereof as well as the appended drawings.

To achieve these and other advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described, the present invention provides a disposal container which includes a container body for containing items being disposed of, the container body defining a top opening, the container body having a step feature on an interior surface thereof disposed below the top opening; one or more diaphragms disposed inside the container body on the step features, each diaphragms having a disk shape that matches an interior cross-sectional shape of the container body at the step feature, each diaphragm being made of a flexible and resilient material and having a plurality of radial cuts which partition the diaphragm into a plurality of wedge shaped sections; a retaining ring disposed inside the container body above the one or more diaphragms, the retaining ring having an exterior shape that matches an interior shape of a section of the container body between the top opening and the step features; and a lid disposed over the opening of the container body.

In another aspect, the present invention provides a disposal container which includes: a container body for containing items being disposed of, the container body defining a top opening, the container body having a step feature on an interior surface thereof disposed below the top opening; a retaining ring disposed inside the container body on the step features, the retaining ring having an exterior shape that matches an interior shape of a section of the container body between the top opening and the step features; and a lid disposed over the opening of the container body.

In another aspect, the present invention provides a disposal container which includes: a container body for containing items being disposed of, the container body defining a top opening, the container body having a step feature on an interior surface thereof disposed below the top opening; one or more diaphragms disposed inside the container body on the step features, each diaphragms having a disk shape that matches an interior cross-sectional shape of the container body at the step feature, each diaphragm being made of a flexible and resilient material and having a plurality of radial cuts which partition the diaphragm into a plurality of wedge shaped sections; and a lid disposed over the opening of the container body.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of a waste disposal container according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2a and 2b are partial cross-section view of the waste disposal container of FIG. 1 showing the step features.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the waste disposal container of FIG. 1 with the diaphragm and retaining ring installed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIG. 1, a waste disposal container according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a container body 11, a lid 12, one or more diaphragms 14 and a retaining ring 15. The container body 11 (which is not fully illustrated in FIG. 1) may have any suitable shape, such as a cylindrical shape, a tapered shape, etc., and its cross-section in the horizontal planes may be a round, oval or other shapes. The container body 11 has a top opening 11a, and the lid 12 is provided to cover the top opening. The lid 12 is preferably pivotally attached to the container body 11 by a suitable jointing member such as a hinge 13 to open and close the waste disposal container. Alternatively, the lid 12 may be unattached to container body 11, and can be placed on top of the body 11 to close the container or removed to open it.

Near the top opening 11a of the container body 11, a step feature 11b is formed on the interior surface of the container body (see cross-sectional views in FIGS. 1, 2a and 2b). The step feature 11b may be formed by a ring shaped protrusion as shown in FIG. 2b, or by making the interior circumference of the container body 11 slightly larger in a section below the top opening 11a than another section below it as shown in FIG. 2a. The step feature 11b shown in FIG. 2a or 2b is located at a suitable distance from the top opening 11a, such as 1 to 4 inches. Alternatively, the step feature 11b may be formed by a plurality of protrusions disposed on the interior surface at appropriate distances from the top opening 11a.

Each diaphragm 14 is a disk shaped member made of a flexible and resilient material such as rubber. The shape of the disk matches the cross-sectional shape of the interior of the container body 11 at the step feature 11b. Preferably, the diaphragm 14 has a narrow rim that is thicker or more rigid than the rest of the diaphragm. A plurality of radial cuts 14a are made in the flexible material to partition the diaphragm 14 into a plurality of wedge shaped sections 14b. Preferably, two diaphragms 14 are overlapped with each other, where the two sets of cuts 14a of the two diaphragms are offset with respect to each other in the angular direction. The two overlapping diaphragms are placed inside the container body 11 and rest on the step features 11b.

The retaining ring 15 is preferably a rigid or resilient member made of plastic or other suitable materials. The exterior shape of the retaining ring 15 matches the interior shape of a section of the container body 11 between the top opening 11a and the step features 11b. The retaining ring 15 is disposed above the diaphragm 14, so that the rim of the diaphragm is held between the step features 14b and the retaining ring. Preferably, the height of the retaining ring 15 plus the thickness of the rim of the diaphragm is less than, or equal to, or slightly larger than the distance between the top opening 11a and the step features 11b, so that the retaining ring does not substantially protrude from the top opening of the container body and does not interfere with the closing of the lid 12.

In an alternative embodiment (not shown), the top rim of the retaining ring 15 is curved outwardly and then downwardly, forming a circular groove that overhangs the top opening 11a of the container body.

In a preferred embodiment, the section of the container body between the top opening 11a and the step feature 11b has a cylindrical shape with a uniform diameter, the diaphragms 14 have a round shape, and the retaining ring 15 has a cylindrical shape with a uniform exterior diameter. In one particular example, the retaining ring 15 has an exterior diameter of approximately 6.5 inches, a height of approximately 2 inches, and a thickness of approximately 0.09 inches. In one particular example, the diaphragm has a diameter of approximately 6.5 inches, a thickness of approximately 0.1 inches near its outer edge and a thickness of approximately 0.04 elsewhere.

In use, the user opens the lid 12 and removes the retaining ting 15 and the diaphragms 14. The user places a bag such as a disposable plastic bag inside the container, with the top edge of the bag hanging over and around the top opening 11a of the container body. The user then places the diaphragms inside the container body and inside the bag such that the diaphragms rest on the step feature 11b. Then, the user places the retaining ring 15 inside the container body and inside the bag such that the retaining ring rests above the diaphragms 14. An upper portion of the bag is now held between the interior surface of the container body 11 and the retaining ring 15 and the diaphragms 14, whereby the bag is kept in place inside the container body. The lid 12 can now be closed and the waste disposal container is ready for use.

Preferably, the two diaphragms 14 are joined or attached together permanently or semi-permanently forming one unit, so that the user can handle the two diaphragms as one unit. Alternatively, the two diaphragms 14 may be separate pieces, so that the user has to place one diaphragm on the step feature 11a and then place the other diaphragm over the first one, taking care to offset the cuts 14a of the two diaphragms.

In another embodiment, the diaphragms 14 and the retaining ring 15 are joined or attached together permanently or semi-permanently forming one unit, so that the user can install the diaphragms and the retaining ring in one step.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the disposal container with the diaphragms 14 and retaining ring 15 installed, but with the lid removed to show the interior structures. The set (incomplete set) of dashed radial lines 14a′ depict the cuts of the lower diaphragm not seen in the top view, showing the offset relationship of the two sets of cuts of the two diaphragms.

To dispose of a soiled item, the user opens the lid 12 and pushes the item down against the diaphragms 14. The wedge shaped sections 14b of the diaphragms deflect downwards to create an opening which allows the item to pass through the diaphragms and drop into the bag. The wedge shaped sections 14b then return to their normal shape and closes the opening. In their normal (resting) shape, the diaphragms form a seal that significantly reduces or prevents the odor from the disposed items escaping to the outside of the disposal container. When two diaphragms are used and their cuts 14a are offset, a more effective seal is created.

In the above-described waste disposal container, the retaining ring 15 may be used without the diaphragm 14. The retaining ring will serve to retain the bag in place. Although no diaphragms are provided to form an odor seal, a seal serving this function may be formed in the lid of the disposal container.

In addition, the diaphragms 14 may be used without a retaining ring. For example, the diaphragms themselves may be provided with a rigid frame, such as a metal or plastic frame, which rests on the step feature and can stay in place when the item being disposed of is pressed down against the diaphragm. The diaphragms may also server the function of holding the bag in place, or alternatively, the bag may be held in place by another suitable device.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modification and variations can be made in the waste item disposal container of the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover modifications and variations that come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.