WO2006071923A2 - Garbage can and support for use with a liner - Google Patents

Garbage can and support for use with a liner Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2006071923A2
WO2006071923A2 PCT/US2005/047197 US2005047197W WO2006071923A2 WO 2006071923 A2 WO2006071923 A2 WO 2006071923A2 US 2005047197 W US2005047197 W US 2005047197W WO 2006071923 A2 WO2006071923 A2 WO 2006071923A2
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
body
liner
apparatus
base
opening
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2005/047197
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2006071923A3 (en )
Inventor
Jack D. Fisher
Original Assignee
Fisher Jack D
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F1/00Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor
    • B65F1/04Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor with removable inserts
    • B65F1/06Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor with removable inserts with flexible inserts, e.g. bags or sacks
    • B65F1/068Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor with removable inserts with flexible inserts, e.g. bags or sacks with means aiding the removal of the flexible insert
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F1/00Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor
    • B65F1/04Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor with removable inserts
    • B65F1/06Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor with removable inserts with flexible inserts, e.g. bags or sacks
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F1/00Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor
    • B65F1/14Other constructional features; Accessories
    • B65F1/141Supports, racks, stands, posts or the like for holding refuse receptacles
    • B65F1/1415Supports, racks, stands, posts or the like for holding refuse receptacles for flexible receptables, e.g. bags, sacks
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F1/00Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor
    • B65F1/14Other constructional features; Accessories
    • B65F1/1468Means for facilitating the transport of the receptacle, e.g. wheels, rolls
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F1/00Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor
    • B65F1/14Other constructional features; Accessories
    • B65F1/16Lids or covers
    • B65F1/1607Lids or covers with filling openings
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F1/00Refuse receptacles; Accessories therefor
    • B65F1/14Other constructional features; Accessories
    • B65F1/16Lids or covers
    • B65F1/1615Lids or covers with means for locking, fastening or permanently closing thereof
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F2230/00Shapes of refuse receptacles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65FGATHERING OR REMOVAL OF DOMESTIC OR LIKE REFUSE
    • B65F2230/00Shapes of refuse receptacles
    • B65F2230/15Sleeve having a disconnectable bottom

Abstract

An apparatus and method for releasably supporting a liner (22), such as a trash bag or laundry bag, within a container (10), such as a trash can or laundry basket. The apparatus includes a body (10) and a base (14). The body (12) includes a top opening (18) and a bottom opening (20), with the area of the top opening (18) in one embodiment being less than the area of the bottom opening (20). Additionally, the body (12) may gradually slope inward from the bottom opening (20) to the top opening (18). The body (12) is configured to receive a liner (22), which removably fits inside the body (12) to protect the body (12) from direct contact with soiled objects.

Description

GARBAGE CAN AND SUPPORT

FOR USE WITH A LINER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to storage containers. More particularly, the invention relates to containers that are versatile and facilitate filling and removing a liner. DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

When utilizing a garbage can to support a plastic garbage bag having a peripheral end portion folded over the top edge of the can, the bag generally adheres to the sidewall of the can even when it is only partially loaded. It is thus often difficult to withdraw the bag due to the adherence thereof to the can sidewall as well as to the vacuum which is created between the bottom of the bag and that of the can when the bag is pulled out of the can. On the other hand, one can hardly do without a garbage can or the like to support a garbage bag, since the bag itself has no body as such and is therefore not self-supporting, and without external support the bag can be loaded only with great difficulty.

Moreover, when using plastic garbage bags, care must be taken during the loading in order to prevent sharp objects, such as scrap pieces of wood, small rocks, and the like, from piercing the bags. In addition, the presence of sharp objects typically does not permit the garbage to be compressed inside the bag since otherwise the latter would pierce, thus resulting in one not being able to load the bag to its full capacity. The same also applies to indoor use as household rubbish generally includes shaip items such as pizza boxes, broken glass, open cans, and the like.

Many garbage cans have attempted to overcome the deficiencies above by providing garbage cans that incorporate air tubes and/or air holes to decrease the amount of vacuum created when one pulls the trash bag from the garbage can. Others have created collapsible garbage cans that unwrap from the garbage bag. These garbage cans, however, suffer from additional deficiencies.

First, holes formed into the garbage can decrease the garbage can strength and liquids and smells may begin to seep there from. Secondly, collapsible garbage cans generally lack the structural integrity to adequately hold trash bags at full capacity as the collapsible garbage cans may unintentionally unwrap. Bag support devices have also been used to protect garbage bags from punctures. The bag support devices have been described as taller than the garbage bags, and use awkward, elongated handles. Because the garbage bag is pulled over the entire length of the bag support device, the garbage bag is still left unprotected from external hazards, such as bushes, shrubs, thorns, etc.

From the foregoing discussion, it should be apparent that a need exists for an apparatus and method that supports a liner and facilitates the removal and protection of the liner. The apparatus and method would enable the user to remove the liner from the container without causing suction and without puncturing the liner. Additionally, the apparatus would be easier to clean, have a greater capacity, and would capture spills.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available liner supports. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide an apparatus and method for releasably providing liner support that overcome many or all of the above-discussed shortcomings in the art.

The apparatus, in one embodiment, is configured to releasably support a liner and includes a body and a base. The body is configured to receive the liner, which includes an outer surface, an inner surface, and a bottom and may be longer in length than the body. The body includes a top opening and a bottom opening, with the area of the top opening being less than the area of the bottom opening, which advantageously enhances the stability of the apparatus.

The base releasably attaches to the body at the bottom opening and includes inner surface of the base configured to provide support to a bottom of the liner. Further, because the top opening is smaller than the bottom opening, advantageously, material spilled on the outside surface of the apparatus will be more likely to rest in the base, instead of on the floor around the apparatus. For example, a liquid would flow down the exterior surface of the apparatus to the base instead of dripping on the floor. Additionally, in certain embodiments, the body gradually slopes inward from the bottom opening to the top opening. Advantageously, the slope of the body may provide for easy removal of the liner, wherein separation of the apparatus from the liner does not involve significant vacuum forces as in conventional trash cans and liners.

In one embodiment, the liner removably fits inside the body to protect the body from direct contact with soiled objects. This advantageously allows one to fit considerably more material inside the apparatus by compressing the material with forces which may otherwise damage the liner. This adds a further advantage wherein fewer liners are needed for the same amount of material. The liner is longer in length than the body to allow the liner to wrap around the top opening of the body. The base releasably attaches to the body at the bottom opening, which advantageously makes the apparatus easier to clean, avoiding odors, germs, and pests, an advantage especially important for uses such as in hospitals. The inner surface of the base supports the bottom of the liner.

In one embodiment, the apparatus is configured to store trash. The body may be any shape or size, and may include a lid. Clips may be used to attach the liner to the body.

The apparatus, in another embodiment, is advantageously configured to protect the liner from puncture. Specifically, the body protects the liner from puncture when the bottom opening is inserted into the liner first. The base attaches to the body, thus trapping the liner between the base and a lower lip of the body. Securing devices hold the liner in a generally fixed zone about the body to prevent the liner from snagging twigs, limbs, etc. Additionally, the handles remain uncovered to allow easy movement of the apparatus.

The handles may be notched to retain the liner. The notch may take any suitable shape, and in one embodiment, the notch is v-shaped.

Additionally, the apparatus may be reversible. That is, the body may be provided with a latchable base and a latchable lid so that the base may be positioned either with the small opening facing up or with the large opening facing up,

A method of the present invention is also presented for providing support to the liner. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a body with a top opening having less area than a bottom opening, the body gradually sloping from the bottom opening to the top opening, inserting the bottom opening into an opening of the garbage bag, gathering the opening of the garbage bag and sides of the garbage bag about the bottom opening of the body, attaching a base to the bottom opening with a securing device, securing the garbage bag and sides of the garbage bag to a lower portion of the body, filling the body with objects, when filled, removing the base and letting contents drop into the liner, and removing the body from the liner. The method may also include the step of securing the garbage bag sides to the lower portion of the body with the same securing device that is used to attach the base to the body.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the advantages of the invention will be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figures 1A-1C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view respectively of an apparatus for supporting a liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 2A-2E illustrate side views of bases according to various embodiments of the present invention;

Figures 3A-3C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view of respectively an apparatus for supporting a liner with a wheel assembly according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 4A-4C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view respectively of an apparatus for supporting a liner with a wheel assembly according to another embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 5A-5C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view respectively of an apparatus for supporting a liner having an octagonal shape according to one embodiment of the present invention; Figures 6A-6C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view respectively of a rectangular shaped apparatus for supporting a liner according to one embodiment of the present invention; Figures 7A-7C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view respectively of an apparatus for supporting a liner that opens from a side to expose the liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 8A-8C illustrate an exploded, front, and perspective view respectively of an apparatus for supporting a liner that splits in half to expose the liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 9A-9C illustrate a method of removing a body of the apparatus from a filled liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 10A- 1OB illustrate a method of using a body of the apparatus to protect the liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 11 is a perspective view of an apparatus for supporting a liner with a lid integral to the body according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 12A-12B are perspective views illustrating a lid having an aperture and a revolving cover according to one embodiment of the present invention; Figure 12C is a perspective view illustrating an apparatus for supporting a liner covered with the lid of Figures 12A-12B according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 13A is a side view illustrating an apparatus for supporting a liner with handles configured to grip the liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 13B is a plan view illustrating an apparatus for supporting a liner with handles configured to grip the liner according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 13C-13G are plan views illustrating handles configured to grip the liner according to various embodiments of the present invention;

Figure 14 is a side view illustrating an attachable handle configured to grip the liner according to one embodiment of the present invention; Figure 15 is a side view illustrating an apparatus for supporting a liner having a body with a stepped exterior according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 16 is an exploded side view illustrating an apparatus for supporting a liner having a body with a rounded exterior according to one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Reference throughout this specification to "one embodiment," "an embodiment," or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases "in one embodiment," "in an embodiment," and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to give a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, and so forth. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention. Figures IA- 1C depict an apparatus 10 for supporting a liner 22, such as a trash bag, a laundry bag, or the like. The apparatus 10 may be used to store any kind of object or material such as trash, laundry, leaves, rocks, dirt, branches, etc. Accordingly, the apparatus 10 may be a trash can, a laundry basket, a storage bin, or other type of container in certain embodiments. For explanation purposes, and not to be taken as limiting in its application, the apparatus 10 will be described as a trash can 10 for storing trash, generally, trash commonly removed from a home or yard.

In one embodiment, the trash can 10 comprises a body 12, a base 14, and a cover, or lid 16. The body 12 includes a top opening 18 and a bottom opening 20. In one embodiment, the area of the top opening 18 is less than the area of the bottom opening 20. In the depicted embodiment, the body 12 gradually slopes inward from the bottom opening 20 to the top opening 18 to create a funnel, or conical-shaped body 12. Of course, the body 12 may have other shapes as well.

In certain embodiments, a bottom lip 21 may run perpendicular to the base 14 to allow the base 14 to easily fit over the bottom lip 21. Similarly, a top Hp 23 may run perpendicular to the lid 16 to allow the lid 16 to easily fit over the top lip 23.

The body 12 may slope or otherwise progress inward from the bottom opening 20 to the top opening 18. In one embodiment, the body 12 slopes inward from the bottom opening at more than 90 degrees with respect to a horizontal axis of the base 14, as illustrated in Figure IB by angle α. In a further contemplated embodiment, the body 12 slopes inward at an angle α that is approximately 110 degrees.

The body 12 may be configured to receive a liner 22. The liner 22 includes an outer surface 24, an inner surface 26, and a bottom 28. The liner 22, in certain embodiments, removably fits inside the body 12 to protect the body 12 from direct contact with soiled objects. To enable the liner 22 to fold over the body 12, the body 12 may be shorter in length than the length of the liner 22. In one embodiment, a liner securing device, such as a series of clips (not shown), attached to an outer surface of the body 12, releasably secure upper edges of the liner 22 to the body 12. In operation, a user pulls the liner 22 between the clips and the body 12 to hold the liner 22 thereto. One skilled in the art will recognize that there are numerous methods and devices for securing the liner 22 to the body 12.

The base 14 releasably attaches to the body 12 at the bottom opening 20. In one embodiment, securing devices 32 secure the base 14 to the body 12. In the illustrated embodiment, the securing devices 32 extend perpendicular to the base 14 a predetermined distance and are designed to flex over the bottom lip 21 of the body 12 and enter slots 36 to hold the base 14 to the body 12. It is recognized, however, that the securing devices 32 may be incorporated directly into side walls 38 of the base 14, rather than extending perpendicular therefrom. When the base 14 is attached to the body 12, an inner surface 30 of the base 12 supports the bottom 28 of the liner 22 to prevent the liner 22 from ripping when loaded.

In one embodiment, the base 14 comprises at least one foot rest (not shown) protruding outward from the base 14 to allow the user to stand on the foot rest while the user lifts the body 12 therefrom. Advantageously, the user is not required to bend down and release the base 14 from the body 12.

The lid 16 is designed to removably attach to the body 12 to maintain the objects within the trash can 10 and prevent odors from escaping therefrom. The lid 16 may include a handle 33 to facilitate removal of the lid 16, and the lid 16 may be secured to the body 12 with one or more securing devices 32.

Because the lid 16 and the base 14 may be secured to the body 12, the trash can 10 is, in one embodiment, reversible. That is, the trash can 10 may be used alternatively with either the top opening 18 or the bottom opening 20 facing up to receive objects for storage within the trash can 10. In this embodiment, handles may be formed in the lid 16 or the base 14 in a recessed manner such that the trash can 10 may stand flat on either the lid 16 or the base 14.

Figures 2A-2E illustrate the base 14 having various embodiments of securing devices 32. The securing devices 32 may also be used to fasten the lid 16 to the body 12. Each base 14 may include a handle 40. Referring to Figures 2A-2B, as described above with respect to Figure 1, the securing devices 32 extend perpendicular to the base 14 a predetermined distance. The securing devices 32, of this embodiment, are designed to flex over the bottom lip 21 (See Figure 1) of the body 12, slide over the bottom lip 21, and enter slots 36 (See Figure 1) to hold the base 14 to the body 12. The securing devices 32 of Figure 2A include foot latches 42, which allow the user to step on top of the foot latch 42 to release the securing device from the slots 36. Additionally, the securing devices 32 may be hingedly, pivotably, or rotatably attached to the base 14 to allow the user to disengage the securing devices 32 from the body 12 and move the securing devices 32 away from the body 12 to facilitate the removal of the base 14 from the body 12.

Referring to Figure 2C, the securing device 32 may be a buckle type device configured to latch onto the body 12. Specifically, hoops 44 rotatably connect to the base 14 and attach to posts (not shown) on the body 12. The hoops 44 may be tightened using well known buckle techniques. Referring to Figure 2D, the base 14 is shown configured to form a tight friction fit with the body 12. The body 12 fits into the base 14 and friction prevents the bodyl2 and the base 14 from separating until the user applies a force strong enough to detach the base 14 from the body 12.

Referring to Figure 2E, the base 14 is shown including threads 46 to screw onto the body 12. The threads 46 may be internal or external, depending on the corresponding threads on the body 12.

Figures 3A-4C illustrate trash cans 10 having an optional wheel assembly to facilitate movement thereof according to various embodiments of the present invention. Specifically referring to Figures 3A-3C, a wheel base 48 removably attaches to a bottom 50 of the base 14. The wheel base 48 may be permanently attached, or may be attached using any suitable mechanism, including the mechanisms described above in certain embodiments. The wheel base 48, in the illustrated embodiment, includes a post and a pair of wheels 52 connected together via a single axel 56. The axel 56 connects to the wheel base 48 through a pair of axel blocks 58.

The wheel base 48 of Figures 4A-4C comprises a plurality of swivel wheels 60 or casters. The swivel wheels 60 connect to the wheel base 48 with well known attachment devices. One skilled in the art will recognize that there are various wheel configurations available.

Figures 5A-6C illustrate alternative embodiments of the trash can 10. Specifically, Figures 5A-5C show the trash can 10 having an octagonal-shaped body 12, base 16, and corresponding lid 16. Figures 6A-6C show the trash can 10 having a rectangular shape. One skilled in the art will recognize that the illustrated embodiments are not intended to be limiting. Rather one skilled in the art will recognize that there are innumerable shapes and sizes of trash cans 10 that can be used. Figures 15 and 16 illustrate further suitable shapes. Figures 7A-8C illustrate an apparatus 10 for supporting a liner that facilitates removal of the liner 22 with a releasable seam 35 in the side of the body 12. Specifically, Figures 7A-7C show the body 12 configured to open on a side 62 to expose the inner side of the body 12. A securing device 64 may be used to hold the body 12 closed. The body 12, may comprise a flexible material to allow the user to spread the sides 62 of the body 12 open. Alternatively, the body 12 may comprise multiple side members connected by a connecting device such as a hinge, rail assembly, or the like.

Referring to Figures 8A-8C, the body 12 may be configured with two seams 35 such that the body 12 may be split into two corresponding side members 66 to reveal the contents of the body 12. In certain embodiments, the side members 66 hingedly connect to the base 14.

Figures 9A-9C illustrate a process for removing the liner 22 from the body 12 according to one embodiment of the present invention. Referring specifically to Figure 9A, the liner 22 is positioned inside the trash can 10 with the liner 22 extending from the top opening 18, wrapped around the top lip 23, and secured to the body with clips 25. Referring now to Figures 9B and 9C, the user removes the lid 16 and pulls the body 12 from the base 14. Due to the inverted shape of the body 12, a slight vertical movement of the body 12 from the base 14 substantially frees the liner 22 from contacting the entire inner surface of the body 12. Advantageously, the liner 22 becomes substantially disengaged from the body 12 with very little effort by the user, which decreases frictional forces and negative pressure forces common with standard trash cans. Specifically, with standard trash cans the user is required to pull the entire trash bag from the trash can. Accordingly, the trash bag rubs against the trash can the entire length of the trash can. Additionally, the negative pressure in a void behind the trash bag makes removal difficult.

Figures 10A- 1OB illustrate a method of using the apparatus 10 to support and protect the liner 22 when filling the liner 22 with objects that may cause damage to the liner 22 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The body 12 is placed inside the liner 22 and the liner

22 is slightly pulled over the bottom opening 20 of the body 12. The user attaches the base 14 to the body 12. Preferably, the securing means 32 hold the liner 22 below the handles to allow the user to carry the apparatus 10 without risk of grabbing the liner 22 and possibly causing tears or punctures.

The user fills the body 12 with the intended objects, and when full, releases the securing devices 32 to disengage the base 14 therefrom. With the base 14 removed, the objects inside the body 12 drop and pull the liner 22 from the body 12, thus transferring the objects from the body 12 to the liner 22. Preferably, clips 25 hold upper portions of the liner 22 until the user disengages the upper portions therefrom. The body 12 protects the liner 22 until the body 12 is removed.

Figure 11 illustrates one embodiment of an apparatus 10 with an integrated lid 16. The body 12 may be inserted into the liner 22 as described above with respect to Figures 10A-10B. The integrated lid 16 may provide a covering for the contents of the body 12 and may facilitate removing the body 12 from the liner 22. The base 14 may provide support to the liner 22. In certain embodiments, an opening 70 is formed for receiving objects into the top opening 18 of the body 12. The opening 70 may be covered with a hinged door or the like as is known in the art. Figures 12A-12B illustrate one embodiment of a suitable lid 16. In the depicted embodiment, the lid 16 comprises an exterior ring 72 and an interior disc 74. The disc 74 is provided with a receiving bracket 76 through which is passed a rod 78. The rod 78 is contained within snap fitted slots 75 within the exterior ring 72 at either end thereof. The receiving bracket 76 and the snap fitted slots 75 allow the rod 78 to swivel so that the disk 74 may be rotated around the rod 78, thereby exposing the top opening 18.

Figures 13A-13G illustrate certain embodiments of handles 80 that form the dual function of allowing for gripping and transit of the trash can 10 and securing of the liner 22. As shown in Figure 13B, one or more handles 80 may be connected to the body 10 and in certain embodiments the handles 80 are provided with one or more slots 82. The slots 82 are configured to secure the liner 22 therein. That is, the liner 22 is stretched, and portions of the liner are pulled tight into the slots 82, where the portions are retained once the pressure on the portions is released. Of course, the handles may be used without the slots, and the slots may be formed on brackets that do not function as handles.

Figures 13C - 13G show alternate embodiments of the slots 82. Figure 13C shows the slot in the form of a V, having two sides joining together at the center thereof. Figure 13D shows the slot 82 in the form of a V having an opening at a juncture of the two sides of the V. Figure 13E shows the slot having a rectangular shape with two adjoining sides and a central connecting portion. Figure 13F shows the slot 82D formed substantially similar to the slot 82C of Figure 13E, and also having formed on the sides of the slot teeth 84. Figure 13G shows a V- shaped slot 82E having formed thereon sharpened protruding lips 85.

Figure 14 shows a handle 200 which may be attached to a new trash can 10 or retrofitted to an existing trash can 10. The handle 200 is formed with a frame portion 86 that may be any suitable shape including flat. In the depicted embodiment, the frame portion 86 is hook shaped in order to be insertable onto a body 12 through the top opening 18 with one end extending inside the opening 18 and one side outside the opening 18. An aperture 90 may be provided to receive a bolt 92. The passageway 90 may be threaded, though a nut (not depicted) may also be used to secure the bolt 92 in place. A grip 88 may be connected with the frame portion 86 to allow a user to grasp the handle 200. In one embodiment, the handle 200 may be provided with a slot 82 in order to secure a liner 22 therein. The slot 82 may be configured in the same manner as one of the embodiments of Figures 13A 13G.

Figures 15 and 16 show additional shapes in which the body 12 may be formed. In

Figure 15, the body 12 is formed with steps 95. The steps may also be rounded or ribbed or the like. In Figure 16, the body 12 is bowed outward. In Figure 15 and Figure 16, the body 12 becomes progressively thinner as it progresses upward.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Claims

I . An apparatus to releasably support a liner, the apparatus comprising: a body having a top opening and a bottom opening, the area of the top opening being less than the area of the bottom opening, the body configured to receive a liner, wherein the liner is longer in length than the body; a base releasably attachable to the body at the bottom opening, an inner surface of the base configured to provide support to a bottom of the liner; and a lid releasably attachable to the body at the top opening, such that body may be accessed at the top or the bottom.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a handle attached to the body.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a notch in the handle to secure the liner.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the notch is v-shaped.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising clips attached to an outer surface of the body, configured to secure upper edges of the liner to the body.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body attaches to the base via clasps.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body screws onto the base to the secure the body to the base.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body attaches to the base via friction.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base comprises at least one foot rest protruding outward from the base, configured to allow a user to stand on the foot rest while the user lifts the body therefrom.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body angles inward on the outside surface, from the bottom opening to the top opening, at more than 90 degrees, with respect to the base.
I 1. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein body attaches to the base with a substantially water proof seal.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the lid and the base are securely fastenable.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the body comprises a releasable substantially vertical seam for providing access to an interior of body.
14. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising clips disposed on the exterior of the body for receiving the liner when the liner extends out of the bottom opening.
15. An apparatus to protect and support a liner, comprising: a body having a top opening and a bottom opening, the area of the top opening being less than the area of the bottom opening, the body configured to be inserted into a liner, bottom end first; a base, releasably attached to the bottom opening of the body, configured to hold the liner between the base and a bottom lip of the body; a lid at the top of the body such that body may be accessed at the top or the bottom; a lid at the top of the body to cover the top opening, such that body may be accessed at the top or the bottom; and a securing device for attaching the base to the body, wherein the attaching device is configured to contain the liner within a zone of the body.
16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the apparatus further comprises handles attached to the body, and wherein the handles remain accessible even with the liner attached to the body.
17. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising a notch formed in the handle to secure the liner.
18. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising clips attached to an outer surface of the body, configured to secure upper edges of the trash bag to the body.
19. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the securing device is selected from the group consisting of clasps, friction, and screws.
20. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the base and the lid are both securely fastenable such that the apparatus may be used with either the top opening or the bottom opening facing up to receive objects.
21. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the body angles inward from the bottom opening to the top opening at more than 90 degrees with respect to the base.
22. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising wheels attached to the base.
23. A method for using an apparatus to support and protect a liner, the method comprising: providing a body with a top opening and a bottom opening; inserting the bottom opening into an opening of the liner; gathering the opening of the liner and sides of the liner about the bottom opening of the body; attaching a base to the bottom opening with a securing device; securing the liner and sides of the liner to a lower portion of the body; filling the body with objects; removing the base and allowing the objects to move from the body to the liner; and removing the body from inside of the liner.
24. The method of claim 23, further comprising providing a handle formed on the body, the handle having a notch foπned therein and securing the liner within the notch.
25. The method of claim 23, further comprising alternately positioning the apparatus with the top opening facing up to receive objects and with the bottom opening up to receive objects.
PCT/US2005/047197 2004-04-14 2005-12-27 Garbage can and support for use with a liner WO2006071923A3 (en)

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US20050230572A1 (en) 2005-10-20 application
US20060138287A1 (en) 2006-06-29 application
WO2006071923A3 (en) 2006-10-12 application

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