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Publication numberUS20080007147 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/668,877
Publication dateJan 10, 2008
Filing dateJan 30, 2007
Priority dateFeb 2, 2006
Publication number11668877, 668877, US 2008/0007147 A1, US 2008/007147 A1, US 20080007147 A1, US 20080007147A1, US 2008007147 A1, US 2008007147A1, US-A1-20080007147, US-A1-2008007147, US2008/0007147A1, US2008/007147A1, US20080007147 A1, US20080007147A1, US2008007147 A1, US2008007147A1
InventorsDavid SKOG
Original AssigneeSkog David V
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Waste container apparatus
US 20080007147 A1
Abstract
A waste container apparatus includes a waste container having an opening exposing an inner space thereof and configured to move between a containing position and a disposal position, a lid covering the opening of the waste container in the containing position and configured to uncover the opening when the waste container moves from the containing position, and a deodorizing unit providing a deodorizing substance to the inner space of the waste container when the waste container moves from and returns to the containing position.
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Claims(21)
1. A waste container apparatus, comprising:
a waste container having an opening exposing an inner space thereof and configured to move between a containing position and a disposal position;
a lid covering said opening of said waste container in the containing position and configured to uncover said opening when said waste container moves from the containing position; and
a deodorizing unit providing a deodorizing substance to said inner space of said waste container when said waste container moves from and returns to the containing position.
2. The waste container apparatus of claim 1, wherein said waste container comprises at least one cam roller configured to engage said lid for uncovering said opening when said waste container moves from the containing position.
3. The waste container apparatus of claim 2, wherein said lid comprises at least one ramp portion configured to engage said cam roller for uncovering said opening when said waste container moves from the containing position.
4. The waste container apparatus of claim 3, wherein said lid comprises:
a main portion configured to cover said opening of said waste container in the containing position; and
a side portion extending downwardly from said main portion and having said ramp portion.
5. The waste container apparatus of claim 2, wherein said deodorizing unit comprises:
a dispenser containing the deodorizing substance; and
an activation unit configured to engage said dispenser when said waste container departs from and returns to the containing position to activate the dispenser.
6. The waste container apparatus of claim 5, wherein the dispenser comprises:
a cartridge containing the deodorizing substance; and
a holder configured to removably hold said cartridge and exposing a portion of said cartridge.
7. The waste container apparatus of claim 6, wherein said activation unit comprises a trigger wheel configured to push said portion of said cartridge when said waste container moves from and returns to the containing position.
8. The waste container apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a support unit provided adjacent to a rear side of said waste container in the containing position and supporting said lid and said dispensing unit.
9. The waste container apparatus of claim 8, wherein said lid is attached to said support unit by at least one hinge.
10. The waste container apparatus of claim 8, wherein the dispensing unit is attached to said support unit and said activation unit is attached to said waste container.
11. The waste container apparatus of claim 10, wherein said deodorizing unit further comprises:
a nozzle attached to said lid and pointing to the inner surface of said waste container; and
a tube coupled between said dispensing unit and said nozzle.
12. The waste container apparatus of claim 8, further comprising a slide mechanism coupled between said waste container and said support unit to slide the waste container between the containing position and the disposal position.
13. The waste container apparatus of claim 12, wherein said slide mechanism comprises a plurality of drawer slides arranged at both sides of said waste container.
14. The waste container apparatus of claim 8, wherein said support unit comprises a base portion extending along rear and side walls of said waste container.
15. The waste container apparatus of claim 1, wherein said waste container comprises a handle attached on a front wall thereof.
16. A kitchen cabinet, comprising:
an inner cabinet space defined by walls and a cabinet door in a closed position;
a waste container having an opening exposing an inner space thereof and configured to move between a containing position and a disposal position, wherein the waste container is positioned inside the inner cabinet space in the containing position, and configured to be pulled from the inner cabinet space to the disposal position; and
a lid covering said opening of said waste container in the containing position and configured to uncover the opening when said waste container moves from the containing position by movement of said waste container.
17. The kitchen cabinet of claim 16, further comprising:
at least one cam roller attached to said waste container; and
at least one ramp portion provided to said lid, said ramp portion being configured to engage said cam roller when said waste container departs from said containing position.
18. The kitchen cabinet of claim 16, further comprising a deodorizing unit providing a deodorizing substance into the inner space of said waste container when said waste container moves from and returns to the containing position.
19. The kitchen cabinet of claim 18, wherein the deodorizing unit comprises:
a dispenser containing and dispensing the deodorizing substance upon being activated;
a nozzle connected to said dispenser and pointing to the inner space of said waste container in the containing position; and
an activation unit configured to engage said dispenser when said waste container departs from and returns to the containing position for selectively activating said dispenser.
20. The kitchen cabinet of claim 16, further comprises a support unit provided within said cabinet inner space and supporting said lid and said deodorizing unit.
21. The kitchen cabinet of claim 20 further comprises a track coupled between said waste container and said support unit configured to guide the waste container between the containing position and the disposal position.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATION

This application claims priority from U. S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/764,349 filed on Feb. 2, 2006, which is hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to an improved waste container apparatus and, more particularly to a waste container apparatus with hands-free lid opening and automatic deodorizing features, particularly adapted for use in a kitchen cabinet and similar environments.

2. Related Art

Various conventional types of waste containers that are stored inside of a cabinet require a user to pull the container from the cabinet first and then lift the lid up to expose an inner space of the container with two separate actions. This is because the lids on conventional waste containers typically cannot be fully lifted until the waste container is completely removed from the cabinet. This makes it time consuming and difficult to dispose waste in the container. Moreover, these two separate actions of pulling and lifting are cumbersome to the disposal process at a time when a user may have their hands full of rubbish. In addition, the waste stored in the container quickly becomes odorous, and the odor inside of the container is typically expelled into the room when the lid is opened and exposed to the air in the room. Accordingly, there is a need for an improved waste container that is easier to use while reducing waste odor from the disposed waste in the container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention solves the foregoing problems and avoids the drawbacks and disadvantages of the prior art. In one embodiment, a waste container apparatus includes a waste container having an opening exposing an inner space thereof and configured to move between a containing position and a disposal position, a lid covering the opening of the waste container in the containing position and configured to uncover the opening when the waste container moves from the containing position, and a deodorizing unit providing a deodorizing substance to the inner space of the waste container when the waste container moves from and returns to the containing position.

In another embodiment, the waste container apparatus may further include g a support unit provided adjacent to a rear side of said waste container in the containing position and supporting the lid and dispensing unit.

According to another aspect of the invention, a kitchen cabinet includes an inner cabinet space defined by walls and a cabinet door in a closed position, a waste container having an opening exposing an inner space thereof and configured to move between a containing position and a disposal position, wherein the waste container is positioned inside the inner cabinet space in the containing position and configured to be pulled from the inner cabinet space to the disposal position, and a lid covering the opening of the waste container in the containing position and configured to uncover the opening when the waste container moves from the containing position by movement of the waste container.

The kitchen cabinet may further include a deodorizing unit providing a deodorizing substance into the inner space of said waste container when the waste container moves from and returns to the containing position.

Additional features, advantages, and embodiments of the invention may be set forth or apparent from consideration of the following detailed description, drawings, and claims. Moreover, it is to be understood that both the foregoing summary of the invention and the following detailed description are exemplary and intended to provide further explanation without limiting the scope of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the detailed description serve to explain the principles of the invention. No attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than may be necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention and the various ways in which it may be practiced. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a waste container apparatus, in which a waste container is positioned in a closed position, constructed according to the principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 shows the waste container apparatus of FIG. 1, in which a waste container is in a slightly opened position;

FIG. 3 shows the waste container apparatus of FIG. 1, in which the waste container is positioned in a position with the opening further exposed;

FIG. 4 shows the waste container apparatus of FIG. 1, in which the waste container is positioned in a fully opened and fully exposed position;

FIG. 5 shows an upper view of a kitchen cabinet with the waste container apparatus of FIG. 1 installed therein;

FIG. 6 shows a support unit of the waste container apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the waste container of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 8 shows a back side view of a disposal unit of the waste container apparatus of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the invention and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained more fully with reference to the non-limiting embodiments and examples that are described and/or illustrated in the accompanying drawings and detailed in the following description. It should be noted that the features illustrated in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, and features of one embodiment may be employed with other embodiments as the skilled artisan would recognize, even if not explicitly stated herein. Descriptions of well-known components and processing techniques may be omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the embodiments of the invention. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the invention may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the embodiments of the invention. Accordingly, the examples and embodiments herein should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined solely by the appended claims and applicable law. Moreover, it is noted that like reference numerals represent similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

According to the invention, the waste container (hereafter “container”) of a waste container apparatus (hereafter “apparatus”) is configured to move between two different operational positions: a closed containing position and an open disposal position. In the containing position, an opening exposing the inner space of the container is covered by a lid. When the container is pulled and departs from the containing position, the lid may be automatically lifted to expose the opening and a deodorizing substance may be automatically dispensed to the inner space of the container. When the container is pushed back to the containing position, the opening may be automatically covered by the lid and the deodorizing substance may be dispensed to the inner space of the container. The apparatus may be designed and manufactured to be suitable for any application. For example, the apparatus may be configured to be suitable and/or easily installable in an industry-standard kitchen base cabinet having a sink. With such positioning, waste from the sink may be easily disposed to the container without manually opening the lid.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the apparatus constructed according to the principles of the invention. The apparatus is an assembly of several main components, such as a container 10, a support unit 12 and a lid 14. The container 10 may have a bottom and side walls surrounding the inner space (not shown in FIG. 1) where waste is disposed and an opening (not shown in FIG. 1) exposing the inner space. A handle 24 may be provided on a front side of the container 10. FIG. 1 particularly shows the container 10 in the containing position, in which the opening of the container 10 is covered by the lid 14. Note the particular construction of the container 10 is merely exemplary and other container arrangements and configurations are contemplated.

The apparatus is provided with a mechanism that automatically uncovers the opening of the container 10 when the container 10 is pulled by a user and departs from the containing position. For example, the lid 14 may have a main top portion 14 a covering the opening of the container 10 in the containing position and at least one side portion 14 b extended downwardly from the side edges of the main portion 14 a. The side portion 14 b has a cut-out portion 16 arranged at the rear end of the side portion 14 b and a ramp portion 20 (cam surface) adjoining the cut-out portion 16 and extending along the side portion 14 b to a front end of the side portion 14 b. The container 10 is provided with a cam roller 18 at a rear upper corner thereof. In the containing position, the cam roller 18 is positioned near or in the cut-out portion 16 of the lid 14 to prevent the cam roller 18 from engaging the ramp portion 20. When the container 10 is pulled and departed from the containing position, the cam roller 18 subsequently engages the ramp portion 20, and the lid 14 is lifted to uncover the opening 34 of the container 10, as shown in FIG. 2. The cut-out portion 16 and the ramp portion 20 are configured such that slight a movement of the container 10 triggers lifting of the lid 14. Thus, it is no longer necessary to manually lift the lid 14 according to the invention.

The support unit 12 may be provided to support various components of the invention. For example, the lid 14 may be connected to and supported by the support unit 12 such that the main portion 14 a of the lid 14 is positioned to cover the opening of the container 10 in the containing position. Also, the support unit 12 may support other components such as a dispending unit explained below. Although FIG. 1 shows the support unit 12 mainly positioned adjacent to a rear wall of the container 10, the support unit 12 may be positioned at any location and formed in any shape or configuration provided that the support unit 12 does not interfere with the movement of the container 10. To minimize the apparatus size, it may be desirable to position the support unit 12 as close as possible to the container 10. The support unit 12 may have a base portion 26 extending along the side walls of the container 10 except for the front wall thereof. The base portion 26 may be used as a barrier to keep waste dropped from the opening of the container 10 from spreading over beyond the apparatus and/or may prevent loose items from being lodged behind the container 10 during operation.

The apparatus may also be provided with a track mechanism to assist the movement of the container 10 between the operational positions when the container 10 is pulled and pushed by a user. The track mechanism also may be provided to prevent the container 10 from departing from the operational positions. For example, FIG. 1 shows a track mechanism employing a pair of drawer slides 22 attached on the side walls of the container 10, respectively. As well known in the art, each drawer slide 22 is formed of a pair of tracks configured to engage each other, one of which is attached to the container 10 and the other is attached to the base portion 26 of the support unit 12. A roller may be provided on one of the track pair. The base portion 26 may be extended along the side walls of the container 10 except for the front wall. Although FIG. 1 shows two drawer slides 22 coupled between the sidewalls of the container 10 and the base portion 26 of the support unit 12, fewer or more drawer slides may be arranged at different locations. Additionally, any type of mechanism may be employed to move the container between the two operational positions.

FIG. 2 shows the container 10 moving in the direction A toward the disposal position. When the container 10 is slightly pulled from the containing position, the cam roller 18 attached to the container 10 passes the cut-out portion 16 of the lid 14 and engages the ramp portion 20 of the lid 14. Upon engaging the cam roller 18, the lid 14 is lifted in the direction B and the opening 34 of the container 10 is exposed. Thus, the lid 14 does not interfere with the movement of the container 10. Also, slight pulling of the container 10 allows a user to dispose of small waste through the opening 34 of the container 10. As shown in FIG. 3, the movement of the container 10 is guided by the drawer slides 22 such that the cam roller 18 stays engaged with the ramp portion 20.

FIG. 4 shows the container 10 after being fully pulled to entirely expose the opening 34 of the container 10. As well known in the art, the drawer slides 22 may be configured to stop the container 10 at a certain point to prevent the cam roller 18 from disengaging the ramp portion 20 of the lid 14. However, it may be beneficial to remove the container 10 from the apparatus to remove waste pieces escaped from the container 10 or to clean. As well known in the art, the drawer slides 22 may be configured to allow the container 10 to be separated from the rest of the apparatus if the container 10 is moved in a different manner from the normal operation. For example, a slightly excessive force to pull the container 10 or inclining the container 10 may cause the tracks of the drawer slide 22 to separate from each other.

FIG. 5 shows a front perspective view of the apparatus installed in a kitchen base cabinet 35 having a door 35A in an open position. FIG. 5 particularly shows the container 10 in the disposal position, in which the container is pulled to expose the opening 34. In the containing position, the entire apparatus may be confined within the cabinet inner space, which is defined by the inner cabinet walls and the door 35A in a closed position. By simply pulling the handle 24 to move the container 10 forward (direction of arrow A), the lid 14 is automatically lifted and separated from the opening 34 (in direction of arrow B) of the container 10. The lid 14 stays in the lifted position until the container 10 is pushed back to the containing position. Thus, the invention eliminates the need to lift a lid to manually expose the opening 34 of the container 10.

FIG. 6 shows a front perspective view of the apparatus without the container 10. As shown therein, the lid 14 may be attached to an upper portion of the support unit 12 by hinges 37. As mentioned above, the base portion 26 of the support unit 12 may be configured to surround the container 10 in the containing position. Also, the base portion 22 may be used to fix the apparatus to the bottom, floor, or other surface of the inner cabinet space. Any well known fastening devices, such as glue, nails, screws, etc., may be used to fix the apparatus in the inner cabinet.

The apparatus may be further equipped with a deodorizing unit to dispense a deodorizing substance into the inner space of the container 10. For example, FIG. 6 shows a dispenser 40 containing, for example, a deodorizing substance and a flexible tube 36 extending through a hole 38 of the support unit 12. A nozzle (not shown) may be provided on the lower surface of the lid 14 facing the inner space of the container 10 where the disposed waste is stored. One end of the tube 36 is connected to the dispenser 40 and the other end is connected to the nozzle to provide a conduit to deliver the substance from the dispenser 40 to the nozzle.

Upon being activated, the dispenser 40 sprays out a predetermined or measured amount of the deodorizing substance, which is carried by the tube 36 to the inner space of the container 10 by the nozzle. The dispenser 40 may be configured to be activated when the container 10 departs from and returns to the containing position. For example, FIG. 7 shows a trigger wheel 44 arranged on a rear side of the container 10 to activate the dispenser 40 upon engaging thereto, and FIG. 8 shows the dispenser 40 arranged on the support unit 12 being engaged the trigger wheel 44 as the container moves in the direction of arrow A. The dispenser 40 may be a combination of a holder and a cartridge containing the deodorizing substance. The cartridge may be a disposable spray can for easy replacement. The holder may have an opening at the bottom to expose the bottom portion of the cartridge. The caster 44 is positioned to correspond to the opening of the dispenser 40 such that when the container 10 departs from and returns to the containing position, the caster 44 rolls under and pushes up the bottom portion of the cartridge to activate the cartridge. Upon being activated by the trigger wheel 44, the dispenser 40 sprays a predetermined or measured amount of the deodorizing substance into the tube 36, which is guided and applied to the inner space of the container 10 by the nozzle pointing thereto. Thus, according to the invention, the user is less exposed to the unpleasant waste odor. By applying the deodorizing substance again when the user pushes the container 10 to the containing position, the waste odor in the container 10 may be better controlled or maintained.

As explained above, according to the invention, the lid may be automatically lifted to expose the opening as the container is pulled to an open position. Also, the deodorizing substance may be automatically dispensed to the inner space of the container when the container is pulled to the open position and again when moved to a closed position. Thus, the invention provides an improved waste container apparatus that is easy to use while reducing waste odor from the disposed waste in the container.

While the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modifications in the spirit and scope of the appended claims. These examples given above are merely illustrative and are not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible designs, embodiments, applications or modifications of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8636329 *Dec 28, 2012Jan 28, 2014Lawrence J. HugSliding cabinet drawer kit with drawer shield and method of installation
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/270.3, 220/200
International ClassificationA47B77/18, B65D43/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B77/18, B65F7/00, B65F1/1436
European ClassificationA47B77/18, B65F7/00, B65F1/14D4