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Publication numberUS3721060 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 20, 1973
Filing dateJun 3, 1970
Priority dateJun 3, 1970
Publication numberUS 3721060 A, US 3721060A, US-A-3721060, US3721060 A, US3721060A
InventorsM Quinto
Original AssigneeM Quinto
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Refuse compacting device
US 3721060 A
Abstract
A refuse compactor easily positioned under existing refuse chutes and allowing the refuse collecting, compacting and packaging steps to be performed along a single vertical axis. The compactor incorporates at least one horizontally disposed movable door functioning as a compacting ram, with an open position for refuse collecting and a closed position for compacting. In one embodiment, the movable door is supported by two vertically disposed reciprocating plates slidable along the inside walls of a surrounding extension chute. The plates are driven by hydraulic pistons. When refuse is dropped into the chute, it passes through the extension chute, the open movable door and into collection means placed at the base of the extension chute. When compaction is desired, the movable door is closed and the hydraulic pistons draw the vertical plate and door assembly down to compact the refuse collected. Thus the collecting, compacting and packaging steps all occur along a single vertical axis. In other embodiments, the collection and compaction occur within the extension chute by incorporating movable doors or a movable platform at the base of the extension chute to substantially close the chute and collect the refuse. When compaction is desired, similar horizontally disposed vertically reciprocating movable doors are used to effectuate the compaction. When the desired amount of refuse has been compacted, the movable doors at the base of the extension chute open and allow the compacted refuse to drop into collection means at the base of the extension chute or the platform is drawn downward supporting the compacted refuse. In a further embodiment, movable doors at the base of the extension chute serve as the press head while the collection means placed at the base of the extension chute are vertically reciprocated to effectuate the desired compaction. The compactor also incorporates reciprocating flexible fins or permanently mounted sawtooth blades in the extension chute or mounted in the existing refuse chute to destroy any refuse bridge and substantially reduce any refuse buildup or jamming.
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United StatesPatent [191 Quinto REFUSE COMPACTING DEVICE [76] Inventor: Mario J. Quinto, 70 Dannell Drive,

Stamford, Conn. 06905 [22] Filed: June 3, 1970 [21] App]. No.: 43,154

Primary Examiner-Travis S. McGehee Attorney-Mattern, Ware and Davis 5 7 ABSTRACT A refuse compactor easily positioned under existing refuse chutes and allowing the refuse collecting, compacting and packaging steps to be performed along a single vertical axis. The compactor incorporates at least one horizontally disposed movable door functioning as a compacting ram, with an open position for refuse collecting and a closed position for compacting.

' In one embodiment, the movable door is supported by reduce any refuse buildup or jamming.

[ 1Marcli 20, 1973 two vertically disposed reciprocating plates slidable along the inside walls of a surrounding extension chute. The plates are driven by hydraulic pistons. When refuse is dropped into the chute, it passes through the extension chute, the open movable door and into collection means placed at the base of the extension chute. When compaction is desired, the movable door is closed andthe hydraulic pistons draw the vertical plate and door assembly down to compact the refuse collected. Thus the collecting, compacting and packaging steps all occur along a single vertical axis. ln'other embodiments, the collection and compaction occur within the extension chute by incorporating movable doors or a movable platform at the base of the extension chute to substantially close the chute and collect the refuse. When compaction is desired, similar horizontally disposed vertically reciprocating movable doors are used to effectuate the compaction. When the desired amount of refuse has been compacted, the movable doors at the base of the extension chute open and allow the compacted refuse to drop into collection means at the base of the extension chute or the platform is drawn downward supporting the compacted refuse. In a further embodiment, movable doors at the base of the extension chute serve as the press head while the collection means placed at the base of the extension chute are vertically reciprocated to effectuate the desired compaction. The compactor also incorporates reciprocating flexible fins or permanently mounted sawtooth blades in the extension chute or mounted in the existing refuse chute to destroy any refuse bridge and subs 29 Claims,l5 Drawing Figures ntially PATENTEDMARZO I973 llnulrl, 1411,1111, I

ATTORNEYS PATENTEUMARZO 1975 3,721,060 SHEET 2 OF 6 m9 0! V Nm m3 WE! HEW .nm. Om. mQ N x A r m PATENTEDMARZO 1975 FIG. 7

SHEET 3 OF 6 PAIENTEDMRZOHB 3,721,060 SHEET 5 OF 6 w Mm 4 5 s M A 340 A eas PATENTEDMARZO I973 SHEET 8 OF 6 ililllillll'lll'lliilllI'll! REFUSE COMPACTING DEVICE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to refuse compactors for refuse handling systems. More particularly, the refuse compactors disclosed herein are adapted to compact refuse from multi-story buildings such as apartment houses, office buildings, and the like, wherein a refuse chute is provided.

In a building having a central collecting chute for trash disposal, the occupants of the building deposit trash in the chute through access doors on each floorof the building. The trash drops to the basement for final disposal. In the least mechanized systems the trash falls into a collection container of some sort which has to be removed and replaced by an empty container when it is full. This requires a considerable amount of manual effort and attention in order to prevent the containers from overflowing.

In an attempt to eliminate these problems, various compacting systems have been created. By reducing the volume of the collected refuse these systems increase the amount of time it takes before a collection container is filled with trash. This substantially decreases the man-hours required and increases sanitation.

The desired volumetric reduction is accomplished either by direct compression or by shredding or grinding the collected refuse. Since shredders and grinders depend entirely upon shearing action, the devices are subject to jamming and wear failure to a much greater extent than devices using compression. Also more horsepower is required. Although prior art compression compactors are more satisfactory, they generally necessitate the traverse of a compression head across an input port and thus incorporate undesirable shearing action, which at times requires extreme forces and is a major cause in stalling of these existing compactors.

Furthermore, the systems presently available'require the refuse to be redirected along an axis other than the axis of the existing refuse chute before the refuse can be compacted. This necessitates the installation of equipment in addition to the basic compactor, and usually requires'a substantial amount of alteration and a large area. Also, the redirection of the refuse collection axis greatly increases the probability of refuse choke-ups or chute jamming before getting to the compacting zone, and uses unnecessary energy.

Another disadvantage prevalent in the prior art is the inability of the compacting system to destroy refuse bridges of buildups before serious jamming occurs. As a result, the refuse continues to build up in acertain area until the entire refuse chute is jammed. Then, the compactor has to be shut down while the jammed refuse is manually removed.-

Itis, therefore, a principal object of the invention to provide a refuse compactor of increased reliability.

Another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that completely eliminates shearing action during the entire compaction cycle.

A further object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that can be installed coaxially with existing, central collection refuse chutes, and allows the direct, free flow of refuse.

Another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that minimizes all areas and means which may cause refuse buildup.

A further object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that substantially eliminates refuse buildups in their early stages of formation and thereby prevents refuse jammings Another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that is capable of compacting refuse to the desired density with a minimum amount of energy.

Another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character in which the free flow of refuse is always in line with gravity.

Another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that does not require equipment to redirect the refuse flow and can be installed with a minimum of alteration to the existing structure.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that operates substantially automatically and does not require the presence of an operator.

A further object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that is efficient and inexpensive to install and operate.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that is capable of automatically compacting the refuse collected and changing containers when filled.

Another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that is capable of compacting refuse in a refuse chute and then packaging the compacted refuse in a non-rigid container.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a refuse compactor of the above character that is simple, inexpensive and easy to maintain.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part appear hereinafter.

' I Refuse compactors constructed according to the present invention eliminate the difficulties existing in the prior art by providing a compacting ram having a pivotable compacting head. In the preferred embodiment, the compacting ram comprises two substantially flat plates joined together at a right angle. The plates are of a size andshape so as to essentially form two walls of a refuse chute extension. A solid door is pivotably supported at the base of one-of the plates. The assembly is provided with a heavy-duty spring, which tends to maintain the door in the closed position. The door has essentially the same size and shape as the cross-section of the refuse chute extension. The two plates at right angles to each other are mounted inside a Y chute extension having essentially the same size and shape as the existing chutes. A hydraulic cylinder, mounted outside the chute extension, is connected to and controls the vertical motion of the two plates. The two plates with the attached pivotable door comprise the compacting ram. When the hydraulic cylinder draws the two plates vertically downward, the springloaded pivotable door moves past a retaining rollerand is forced closed by the spring hinge. The closed door serves as the press head of the compacting ram and effectively compacts the refuse collected. Once compaction is completed, the hydraulic cylinder draws the compacting ram vertically upward and the pivotable door is opened and maintained in the opened position by the adjustable retaining roller.

Thus, there is provided an inexpensive and extremely efficient system by which refuse may be compacted to avoid the excessive manpower otherwise required, and which requires only minimal changes or modification to the existing structure. Since the compaction of the refuse is accomplished coaxially with the refuse disposal chute, the possibility of refuse stoppage or buildup in areas above the compaction zone is minimized. I

The invention accordingly comprises the several steps and the relation of one or more of such steps with respect to each of the others, and the apparatus embodying features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangement of parts which are adapted to effect such steps, all as exemplified in the constructions hereinafter set forth. The scope of the invention is indicated in the claims.

THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection-with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view partially in cross section of a refuse compactor according to the invention while in the refuse collecting or loading position;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional plan view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional side view, similar to FIG. 1, showing the compactor of FIG. 1 in the refuse compacting position;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional side view of another compactor according to the invention shown in the refuse loading position;

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of a portion of the compactor of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional side view, similar to FIG. 4, showing the compactor of FIG. 4 in an initial stage of the refuse compacting cycle;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional side view, similar to FIG. 4, showing the compactor of FIG. 4 midway through the compacting cycle;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional side view, similar to FIG. 4, showing the compactor of FIG. 4 during the ejection phase of the compacting cycle;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another compactor according to the invention installed and in its operating mode;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of one type of carrying means that can be used to transport many compacted boxes to a storage or pickup area;

FIG. 11 is a side view partially in cross section of another compactor according to the invention while in the refuse collecting position;

FIG. 12 is a side view partially in cross section, similar to FIG. 11, showing the compactor of FIG. 11 in the refuse compacting position;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional side view of another compactor according to the invention while in the refuse collecting position; and,

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional side view, similar to FIG. 13, showing the compactor of FIG. 13 in a final stage of the refuse compacting cycle.

The same reference numbers refer to the same elements throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a compactor 20 according to the invention comprises a substantially square extension chute 22 which contains a movable compacting press generally indicated at 24. Compacting press 24 comprises two plates 26 and 28 mounted together at right angles to each other and substantially the same size and shape as the bounding walls of extension chute 22. Another major portion of compacting press 24 is a pivotable door 30 mounted toplates 26 and 28. Door 30 is hinged to plate 28 along their abutting edges by means of a spring hinge 27 so as to allow door 30 to freely pivot about its hinged axis. When the door 30 is in the open position, shown in FIG. 1, the spring hinge 27 is in tension and attempts to bring door 30 to the closed position, shown in FIG. 3. Door 30 is maintained in the open position by means of an adjustable roller 32 mounted in wall 33 of chute extension 22.

Compacting press 24 is moved vertically upward and downward by means of hydraulic cylinder 34. Cylinder 34 is directly connected to plates 26 and 28. As can be seen in FIG. 1, extension chute 22 is slotted at 37 so as to allow mounting plate 38 to be connected to the shaft of cylinder 34 and move through one complete stroke of the cylinder. Mounting plate 38 is welded to plates 26 and 28. It will be obvious to one skilled in the art that more than one hydraulic cylinder or other similar devices could be used.

Refuse container 52 is positioned at the base of refuse-compacting device 20. Although the refuse container can take various forms, as shown, they comprise interconnected support members 54 into which cardboard containers 56, 58 and 60 may be inserted by means of side doors, not shown. The T-shaped braces 62 of the support members 54 protect the top edges of the cardboard boxes and prevent the cardboard boxes from being pushed inwardly by loose refuse during compaction.

The cardboard boxes in position in support members 54 may be mounted on rollers 64 or wheels, in order to provide complete maneuverability.

In FIG. 1 it can be seen that extension chute 22 has an adjustable panel 78 at the uppermost point of chute extension 22. Panel 78 provides a simple and convenient method through which chute extension 22 can be readily adapted to any size of an existing refuse chute 40.

Extension chute 22 also incorporates an optional pivotable door 80. Door 80 mounted near the top of extension chute 22 provides for easy access to chute extension 22 and to existing refuse chute 40. This helps to assure simple and easy maintenance by providing quick accessibility to the areas in which refuse buildup may occur. Furthermore, door 80 is movable into the position shown in phantom in FIG. 1 to effectively close refuse chute 40. This allows maintenance to be perfonned on compactor 20 without having refuse falling into the compactor.

In operation, the initial stages are characterized by FIG. 1, in which the pivotable door 30 is maintained in the open position by roller 32, allowing refuse to descend from the existing refuse chute 40 into and through the co-axially arranged compacting device and into cardboard container 58. Once the collected refuse has reached level 66, shown in FIG. 1, hydraulic cylinder 34 is activated by photo cell or other conventional means (not shown) and begins to draw compacting press 24 vertically downward. As the press moves downwardly, spring-loaded door 30 moves past fixed roller 32 until door 30 is no longer in, contact with roller 32. Spring hinge 27 which connects door 30 to plate 28 and is in tension in this position forces door 30 to pivot about its hinged axis in a clockwise manner as shown by arrow 42 in FIG. 1 until door 30 comes in contact with the bottom end of plate 26 and effectively closes extension chute 22 of compactor 20.

The position of roller 32 in plate 33 is adjustable to provide assurance that door 30 will be closed before any part of compacting press 24 reaches level-66 of the collected refuse.

Compacting press 24 continues to be drawn vertically downward until the stroke of shaft 72 has been completed. When door 30 is closed and comes in contact with the collected refuse, it performs as the ram head of compacting press 24 and compacts the collected refuse to level 68, which is the bottom terminating level for compacting press 24. If need be, compacting press 24 can be raised and lowered repeatedly to assure proper compaction of the refuse collected. Once the compaction cycle is completed, compacting press 24 will be drawn vertically upward by cylinder 34 until compacting press 24 is in the same position as it was at the beginning of the cycle. Pivotable door 30 is forced open as it comes in contact with roller 34, and once the door is open, roller 32 maintains it in that position. Since door 30 is constructed from material which has a greater thickness than plate 28, roller 32 is positioned inwardly of plate 28 and does not interfere with the movement of the compacting press 24.

Once the compacted refuse reaches level 70, at th desired density, the next refuse container is moved into position under the compacting device. Level 70 may be sensed automatically and an alarm rung for manual attention, or member54may be indexed by automatic means as in the prior art. If a substantial amount of refuse is then dropped into a filled container before the container can be moved out from underneath compacting device 20, deflector plate 76 assures that all the loose material is pushed into the following empty container. Deflector plate 76 is mounted at the terminating end of extension chute 22 by means of a spring hinge 77. The spring tension is sufficient to provide a positive refuse compacting device comprises an extension chute 102, a compacting press generally indicated at 104, and a movable base generally indicated at 106. The compacting press 104 comprises two movable plates 108 and 110 which are substantially the same width and are mounted on opposite walls of extension chute 102. A pivotable door 112 is secured by means of a spring hinge 113 at the base of plate 108, best seen in FIG. 4A. Similarly, door 114 is mounted at the base of plate 1 10 by an identical spring hinge 115. When doors 112 and 114 are in the position shown in FIG. 4, the spring hinges 1 13 and 1 15 are in tension and are held in this open position by adjustable rollers 1l6-116 mounted in back wall 136. The top of plate 108 is connected to mounting bracket 1 18, which is fixed to shaft of hydraulic cylinder 122. Similarly, the top of plate 110 is fixed to bracket 124, which is attached to shaft 126 of hydraulic cylinder 128. Plates 108 and 110 are not connected and can move independently of each other since their movement is controlled by different hydraulic cylinders. Plates 108 and 110 may be interconnected and controlled by one or more hydraulic cylinders.

Sawtooth blades 130 are welded to plates 108 and 110 and to the opposed walls of extension chute 102 at positions above pivotable doors 112 and 114. Door edge support brackets 132-132 are welded on opposite edges at the baseof plates 108, and door edge support brackets 134-134 are welded on opposite edges at the base of plate 110. Door edge support brackets 132 and 134 provide positive support for pivotable doors 112 and 114 when these doors are being used as a press head, and are constructed in a manner that minimizes clogging of the refuse. They are also provided with channel-like recesses 133-133 and 135-135 so as not to interfere with roller 116; Furthermore, doors 112 and 114 may be constructed so as to have a space between them in the closed position. This space would allow sawtooth blades.130 to be positioned at a point closer to the pivotable doors 112 and 1 14 without interfering with their operation.

The base plate 106 comprises movable sections 142 and 144. Movable section 142 is pivotable mounted to chute extension 102 at pivot 149 and is controlled by hydraulic cylinder 148 attached to extension 149 thereof. Similarly, movable section 144 is controlled by hydraulic cylinder 150 attached to extension thereof and is mounted to chute extension 102 by pivot 152.'A refuse container 154 is located beneath compacting device 100, and contains a removable liner 156 for receiving the refuse.

The refuse receiving operation of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 4, 6, 7, and 8 is shown in FIG. 4. Pivotable doors 112 and 114 are held in the open position by rollers 116-416, thus allowing any refuse that is thrown into the refuse chute to pass coaxially through the chute and into refuse compacting device 100 until it reaches movable base 106. When the collected refuse has reached'a predetermined level above movable base 106, the compaction cycle automatically starts. Photocell 161 is used to initiate the compaction cycle when the refuse has reached the predetermined level.

When the compaction cycle begins hydraulic cylinders 122 and 128 simultaneously move plates 108 and 110 vertically downward. As plates 108 and 110 move downward, pivotable doors I12 and 114 move out of supporting contact with rollers 116 and, when such support is removed, the pivotable doors are forced by their individual spring hinges to pivot as shown by arrows 160 and 162 until pivotable doors 112 and 114 have closed extension chute 102, as shown in FIG. 6. Rollers 116 are adjustable vertically and are positioned so that doors 112 and 114 will be closed, as shown in FIG. 6, before coming in contact with collected refuse 158. Brackets 132 and 134 are slotted at 133 and 135, respectively, to eliminate frictional interference between roller I16 and brackets 132 and 134 during the compaction cycle.

If refuse becomes wedged between doors 114 and 116 while the doors are being closed, the compacting efficacy will not be effected. The compacting ram will merely have a V-shaped cross section. The wedged refuse will be cleared on the upward stroke when the doors open and gravity or additional refuse will direct it into the compaction area.

As the compaction cycle continues, hydraulic cylinders 122 and 128 continue to draw plates 108 and 110 vertically downward with doors 1 12 and 114 acting as a compacting press with brackets 132 providing the necessary support for doors 112 and brackets 134 providing the support for door 1 14.

Hydraulic cylinders 122 and 128 continue to draw plates 108 and 110 simultaneously vertically downward until a preselected compaction pressure has been obtained. The controls may be set to eject after each compaction stroke or to form a bale of preselected length and density prior to ejection, by properly adjusting well-known pressure and limit switches which are incorporated in the controls. Hydraulic cylinders 122 and 128 can also be designed to automatically move both vertically upward and downward until the collected refuse 158 has been properly compacted. The final compaction stage is shown in FIG. 7.

Hydraulic cylinders 122 and 128 are designed to repeatedly compact the refuse collected when given the proper signal. However, when the stroke of the cylinders is sufficiently short so as to indicate the compaction of the desired refuse density and bale size, movable sections 142 and 144 are signalled to simultaneously pivot about their respective pivots 149 and 152 until extension chute 102 is opened at the base. Hydraulic cylinders 122 and 128 draw the press head downward to the base of extension chute 102 to push the compacted refuse 158 out and allow it to drop into liner 156 supported by rigid container 154 or other wellknown means. Once the refuse has been deposited in the container, the cycle is reversed, and the elements of the compactor 100 return to the positions shown in FIG. 4. It is obvious that the compaction cycle can be arranged to eject any refuse bale size desired.

This embodiment of the invention has the advantage of compacting the collected refuse in the extension chute itself and eliminates any compacting forces being exerted on the collection container. This allows the container to be made from less rigid material than would otherwise be required and also allows the use of removable liners, such as plastic bags, to collect the refuse. These liners have the additional advantage of being readily disposable and easily handled.

Normally, compactor operates substantially as described above. However, garbage buildup above the compaction level may be encountered, for which provisions have been made. If a refuse bridge is created across extension chute 102 above pivotable doors 112 and 114 and prevents any other refuse from being dropped through extension chute 102, plates 108 and 1 10 can be independently moved vertically upward and downward in such a manner as to cause sawtooth blades to cut and tear at the refuse that has been built up. This will cause the refuse bridge to break and allows the refuse to continue on downward through extension chute 102 until it reaches refuse pile 158. Sawtooth blades 130 are also mounted on the static walls 136 of extension chute 102, best seen in FIG. 5, to provide added assurance that any'refuse bridge will be effectively broken. This prevents system down time that would otherwise be required for manual removal of the built-up refuse. Furthermore, doors 112 and 114 can be opened at the beginning of each upward stroke and closed at the beginning of the downward stroke to prevent upward compaction in the refuse chute, by incorporating a cam device or an additional hydraulic cylinder.

Referring to FIG. 9, several of the advantages of this invention can readily be seen. Since the refuse handling and the compaction occur coaxially, compactor 20 can be installed directly below an existing refuse chute 40 without the requirement for extensive alterations. Furthermore, compactor 20 can be easily placed in a corner of an existing building by merely adapting refuse chute extension 22 to the size of existing chute 40.

Optional clearing fins 204 can be installed along the entire length of existing chute 40 along one or more walls. Fins 204 are spring-loaded and mechanically linked to movable plate 28. The clearing fins are used to provide an extra means of dislodging any refuse that may build up or bridge across existing chute 40. During the compaction cycle, fins 204 pivot about the respective mounting points until they are essentially flat against the wall 41 of chute 40. When the compaction cycle has been completed, and plate 28 returns to its initial position, fins 204 will pivot back to their angular position, without causing any compaction in the chute. The pivoting movement of fins 204 creates a light picking action on any refuse bridge, causing the refuse to be torn apart to such an extent that the bridge will be broken and the refuse will be allowed to drop through chute 40 into and through chute extension 22. This happens during each compaction cycle.

Fins 204 are attached to mounting strip 207, and strip 207 is slidingly interlinked with plate 28. Wall 41 of chute 40 is provided with slots 209 and strip 207 is slidingly mounted in slots 209. This optional arrangement provides assurance that fins 204 will move across the entire width of wall 41 during the compaction cycle to clear away any refuse buildup in the chute and along the chute wall.

Since fins 204 move across wall 41 during each compaction cycle, refuse buildup is kept at a minimum by eliminating the buildup before it becomes too severe. This assures easy maintenance and eliminates the down time required in the prior art systems to have the chutes manually cleared of the built-up refuse.

Cardboard containers 60 are placed inside rigid containers 54 which are positioned on rollers 64. Once the refuse has been compacted to the desired level, the filled container is automatically removed, by means not shown, from beneath compacting device while the following empty container is positioned below the compacting device. It is obvious to one skilled in the art that various feeding means, such as carousels, can be used to properly position a receiving container beneath the compacting device and upon the proper signal remove the filled container, replacing it with an empty one.

The use of roller 64 provides one means by which many containers can be automatically filled by compacting device 20 and conveniently moved out of the way for empty containers without requiring frequent supervision. At predetermined times during the day, a custodian may remove the filled boxes by unlatching the movable doors 216 and 217 of the rigid containers 54 and placing filled boxes 56 in the desired storage area.

A control box 221, which is well known in the prior art, incorporates the automatic signalling devices and the hydraulic system 220 that are required to completely operate compactor 20 and assures the continuous operation of the compactor without the need for manual control. The controls are set to automatically initiate the compaction cycle when a predetermined level or a single drop of refuse has been collected, compact the refuse to the desired pressure, return to the refuse loading position, and eject rigid container 54 when cardboard box 58 is full. Furthermore, control box 221 incorporates alarms to indicate the need for manual attention when there is a malfunction.

The most convenient method for storing boxes 56 is to place them on a cart 220, as shown in FIG. 10. In the preferred embodiment, cart 220, which is sized to fit the requirement of the particular facility in which itis being used, contains a storage area 222 for holding a tarpaulin. The tarpaulin is stored so that when fully extended it completely covers the filled cart 220 and can be secured at various points along the base of the cart so as to assure that the tarpaulin will not be blown away. Also, the cart can be locked by various wellknown means. This arrangement allows the cart to be placed outdoors while still being resistant to all weather conditions, odors, vermin, and vandalism.

A further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 11. In this embodiment, refuse compactor 300 comprises chute extension 302, movable base 304, movable collection means 306and supporting frame Base 304 comprises movable door 310, which pivots about point 314, and movable door 312, mounted to chute 302 at pivot 316. Cardboard box 58 is placed in- 1 side rigid container 54, and this assembly is placed on A signal is then given to hydraulic cylinder 339 to raise platform 336, until the position shown in FIG. 12 is reached, and repeatedly raise and lower platform 336 through short strokes to assure proper compaction. In this embodiment, the closed chute extension 302 serves as a compacting ram to compact the refuse collected when platform 336 is raised to the position shown in FIG. 12. When the refuse has been compacted, a sensor, not shown, initiates signals to return the apparatus to the position shown in FIG. 11.

When hydraulic cylinder 339 raises platform 336 through a short stroke that indicates that the refuse is compacted to level 70, hydraulic cylinder 339 returns platform 336 to the refuse loading position, shown in FIG. 11, and rigid container 54 .is automatically replaced beneath compactor 300 by an empty container, and a cardboard box 58 is removed from container 54 for storage by opening door 216, shown in FIG. 9. For illustrative purposes, cylinder 339 is shown below floor level in FIGS. 11 and 12. However, the required upward stroke can be accomplished by other well-known systems such as a hydraulic cylinder with a scissors arrangement.

A still further embodiment of the same invention is represented in FIGS. 13 and 14. In this embodiment, compactor 400 comprises a chute extension 402, a movable press head 404, a movable. platform 406, a continuous flexible liner 408 and a supporting frame 410.

Press head 404 comprises door 412, pivotably attached to movable wall 416 at pivot 413, and door 414, whichis pivotably attached to movable wall 418 at pivot 415. Linkage arm 432 is welded to door 412 at pivot 413 and linkage arm 434 is welded to door 414 at pivot 415. One end of connecting rod 436 is attached to linkage arm 432 at pivot 435, while L-shaped end 471 of rod 436 is connected to spring 450. Similarly, connecting rod 438 is attached to linkage arm 434 at pivot 437 while its L-shaped end 473 is attached to spring 452.

Linkage arm 460 is mounted to wall 416 at pivot 464 and linkage arm 462 is mounted to wall 418 at pivot 466. Terminating end 470 of linkage arm 460 is freely mounted to spring 450 and fixedly connected to rod 436 at end 471. Similarly, terminating end 472 of linkage arm 462 is freely mounted to spring 452 and fixedly connected to rod 438 at end 473. Terminating end 474 of linkage arm 462 is in sliding frictional contact with wall 405 of extension chute 402, and terminating end 476 of arm 462 is in sliding frictional contact with wall 409 of extension chute 402.

Flexible liner 408 is stored in peripheral container 454 which incorporates tension holders on the flexible line to assure a positive pressure on the liner at all times to eliminate unwanted slippage and to hold the liner taut. An accordian pleated flexible liner could also be employed with tension rollers located at any desired position on chute extension 402. Platform 406 is vertically reciprocating and controlled by the movement of shaft 420 of hydraulic cylinder 422.

The refuse loading position is shown in FIG. 13 with pivotable doors 412 and 414 in theopen position. Platform 406 is extended so as to substantially close the base of chute extension 402 while supporting the sealed end of flexible liner 408. With this arrangement, all the refuse dropped into the centrally located chute drops into chute extension 402 and is collected at the base of chute extension.

When the collected refuse 424 has reached a predetermined level, a signal is initiated, by using means well known in the art, such as photocells, to commence the compaction cycle. When the compaction cycle begins, hydraulic cylinders 484 and 486 draw movable walls 416 and 418 vertically downward. When the system is in the refuse loading position, as shown in FIG. 13, springs 450 and 452 are in their relaxed condition. As movable walls 416 and 418 are drawn vertically downward, linkage arm 460 and connecting rod 436 begin to draw spring 450 into tension while linkage arm 462 and connecting rod 438 draw spring 452 into tension. Spring 450 attempts to remain in its relaxed condition and in so doing causes linkage arm 460 to move about pivot 464 with terminating end 470 remaining substantially stationary. Similarly, linkage arm 462 moves about pivot 466 while terminating end 472 remains substantially stationary. Simultaneously, L-shaped terminating end 471 of connecting rod 436 remains substantially stationary under the influence of spring 450, as linkage arm 432 and door 412 move about pivot 413 until door 412 is in its substantially horizontal position. Similarly, L-shaped terminating end 473 of connecting rod 438 remains substantially stationary as linkage arm 434 and door 414 move about pivot 415 until door 414 is substantially horizontal.

Linkage arms 460 and 462 move about their respective pivots until terminating end 474 of arm 460 comes into sliding frictional contact with the wall 405 of extension chute 402 while terminating end 476 of linkage arm 462 comes into sliding frictional contact with wall 409 of extension chute 402. When linkage arms 460 and 462 are in this configuration, as shown in FIG. 14, the linkage arms can no longer move about their respective pivot points and instead are drawn vertically downward with movable walls 416 and 418. Since door 412 is pivotably mounted to the lower end of wall 416 and door 414 is similarly mounted to wall 418, the substantially closed doors are similarly drawn vertically downward.

As the refuse is compacted by the closed doors 412 and 414, the forces generated will attempt to move both doors 412 and 414 upwardly about their respective pivots. This undesirable rotation is prevented by the linkage configuration. If door 412 were to move upwardly from the horizontal position about pivot 413, connecting rod 436 would be forced to move vertically upward and in turn linkage arm 460 would also have to move vertically upward about its pivot 464 in the direction shown by arrow 480. Since terminating end 474 of linkage arm 460 is in supporting contact with wall 405 of chute extension 402, any further movement of linkage arm 460 in the direction of arrow 480 is precluded. Similarly, linkage arm 462 is unable to move about its pivot 466 in the direction shown by arrow 482. Consequently, the linkage configuration forms a positive supporting brace to maintain movable doors 412 and 414 in their closed position to provide a refuse press head which compacts collected refuse 424 against platform 406. Brackets, as described above, can be used for additional support.

Since flexible liner 408 is outside of chute extension 402, refuse 424 contacts the flexible liner only at the base of the chute extension. This assures that the flexible liner cannot be torn during compaction and that the only possible damage that can be incurred is the creation of small holes at the base of chute extension 402 while refuse 424 is being compacted against platform 406 with flexible liner 408 sandwiched therebetween.

When the desired size and density of refuse bale has been attained, a signal is given to cylinder 422 by pressure and size responsive means (not shown) to withdraw shaft 420 and attached platform 406 from its position at the base of chute extension 402. As platform 406 moves vertically downward, the weight of the compacted refuse causes flexible liner 408 to be pulled downwardly while being held taut by tension holders incorporated in container 454. Also, press head 404 moves vertically downward until reaching the base of chute extension 402 to assure the complete ejection of all the compacted refuse.

When platform 406 has been withdrawn to the position shown in FIG. 14, with the flexible liner pulled down and held taut, cutting and sealing apparatus 430 is moved into position near the base of chute extension 402 and simultaneously cuts and seals flexible liner 408. This assures a sealed base for chute extension 402 while also providing a sealed package of compacted refuse. If an open compacted refuse package is desired, the cutting operation can be performed separately from the sealing of the flexible liner 408 at the base of chute extension 402.

When platform 406 has reached the floor, means (not shown) ejects the compacted refuse package from platform 406 onto a conveyor belt (not shown) to carry the compacted refuse package to a receiving station. Then, platform 406 and press head 404 move vertically upward until the position as shown in FIG. 13 is reached, while apparatus 430 is withdrawn.

Furthermore, cutting and sealing apparatus 430 could incorporate a roller which will follow the contour of any refuse that may possibly become trapped.

In all of the above described embodiments, collections, compaction and packaging take place along a single axis, preferably vertically oriented below a refuse chute. This is made possible by my pivotable door press head and hollow ram. All of my embodiments have a delivery channel, a compacting cylinder having the same axis as the delivery channel and which can be any surface traced by any straight line moving parallel to a fixed straight line, and a pivotable press head which is aligned with the delivery channel in the compacting cylinder and has an open position for allowing refuse to be collected in a closed position for compacting the collected refuse. The delivery channel is preferably a cylinder, as defined above, but could be any other shape, such as a cone. Other shapes, such as a cone, are not preferred since they generally provide an environment that allows refuse to readily build up and jam.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made carrying out the above method and in the construction set forth without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent is:

l. A compactor comprising:

A. a delivery chute for delivering material to be compacted;

B. a compacting cylinder having its axis aligned with the axis of said delivery chute and adapted for receiving material passing through said delivery chute sand having the material compacted therein;

C. a press head aligned with said delivery chute and said compacting cylinder and mounted for relative reciprocating motion with respect to and completely within said delivery chute along the axis thereof, and having at least a portion thereof movable in a direction transverse to said axis forming a press position for compacting and an open position for allowing material to enter said compacting cylinder from said delivery chute; and

D. at least one slidable plate a. mounted entirely within said delivery chute, b. conforming to and slidable along a portion of the walls thereof, and c. said press head being mounted to said slidable plate.

2. A compactor as defined in claim 1 and E. at least one hydraulic cylinder mounted to said delivery chute and to said slidable plate for reciprocation thereof.

3. A compactor as defined in claim 1, wherein said movable portion of said press head comprises:

E. at least one pivotable plate mounted to the end of said slidable plate.

4. A compactor as defined in claim 3, and;

G. means biasing said pivotable plate to said press position.

5. A compactor as defined in claim 4, and;

H. cam means for pivoting said pivotable plate against said biasing means to said open position when said slidable plate is at the end of its reciprocating motion away from said compacting cylinder.

6. A compactor as defined in claim 3, wherein said compacting cylinder comprises a box supporting and receiving portion and a lip portion adapted to extend over the sides of a box in juxtaposed spaced relationship from the facing end of said delivery chute.

7. A compactor as defined in claim 3, further comprising F. a plurality of compacting cylinders comprising means for supporting and receiving a plurality of boxes side by side,

G. means for moving the boxes laterally after a box has been filled,

H. a wiper extending from the end of said delivery channel along a side thereof; and,

I. means biasing said wiper into alignment with the sides of said boxes whereby unc'ompacted material is wiped from a filled box into an empty box for compacting when said boxes are moved laterally.

8. A compactor as defined in claim 6, wherein said pivotable plate reciprocates within said delivery chute.

9. A compactor as defined in claim 1, wherein said delivery chute and said compacting cylinder are a unitary cylinder within said press head reciprocates, and further comprises E. means for opening and closing the end of said unitary cylinder.

10. A compactor as defined in claim 9, and;

F. means for reciprocating said press head through short strokes several times when said end is closed and for reciprocating said press head through a larger stroke when said end is open to expel the compacted contents of said unitary cylinder.

11. A compactor as defined in claim 9, wherein said means for opening and closing said end comprises at least one pivotable plate mounted to the end of said unitary cylinder.

12. A compactor as defined in claim 9, wherein said movable portion of said press head comprises at least one pivotable plate.

13. A compactor as defined in claim 9, wherein saidmeans for opening and closing said end comprises a plate mounted transverse to and for reciprocation along the axis of said unitary cylinder.

M. A compactor as defined in claim 13, and;

F. packaging means open at one end and closed at the other engaged with the exterior of said unitary cylinder during compaction with the closed end portion thereof between said end of said unitary cylinder and said transverse plate.

15. A compactor as defined in claim 14, wherein said packaging means is a flexible bag.

16. A compactor as defined in claim 15, and;

G. means for moving said press head and said transverse plate together to causecompacted material to be extruded from said unitary cylinder into said flexible bag; and,

H. means for thereafter sealing the open end of said bag.

17. A compactor as defined in claim 1, and;

E. clearing means attached to and reciprocating with said press head and extending into said delivery channel for driving material toward said compacting cylinder.

' llfiAcompactor comprising: I

A. a delivery chute for delivering material to be compacted;

B. a press head pivotably mounted to one end of said delivery chute; and

C. a compacting cylinder juxtaposed .to the end of said delivery chute incorporating said press head, with the axis of said compacting cylinder aligned with the axis of said delivery chute, and

D. means for reciprocately moving said compacting cylinder with respect to said delivery chute.

19. A compactor as defined in claim 18, wherein said compacting cylinder comprises a box supporting and receiving portion and a lip portion adapted to extend over the sides of a box at the press head facing end thereof.

20. A compactor as defined in claim 18, wherein said press head comprises a pair of rotatable pivotable doors.

21. In a compactor comprising a vertical, co-axially aligned delivery channel, compacting cylinder, and

reciprocating press head; choke-up preventing apparatus comprising:

A. an elongated reciprocating member within said delivery channel; and B. blade means mounted at spaced intervals along said reciprocating member.

22. Apparatus as defined in claim 21, wherein said blade means are resiliently mounted for closure as said reciprocating member advances into said delivery channel through material to be compacted.

23. Apparatus as defined in claim 21, wherein said reciprocating member is mounted on and reciprocates with said press head.

24. A compactor comprising:

A. a delivery chute for delivering material to be compacted;

B. a compacting cylinder having its axis aligned with the axis of said delivery chute; and

C. at least two press heads a. aligned with said delivery chute and said compacting cylinder, mounted for independent relative reciprocating motion with respect to and in said delivery chute along the axis thereof, and c. each of said press heads having at least a portion thereof movable in a direction transversed to said axis forming a press position for compacting and an open position for allowing material to enter said compacting cylinder from said delivery chute.

25. A compactor as defined in claim 24, further comprising a spring-loaded extension means mounted at the base of said chute, and capable of wiping excess refuse from a filled container under the compactor to a following empty container during a container-changing process while still able to be flexed out of the way when the excess refuse cannot be wiped.

26. A method for compacting refuse comprising the steps of:

A. dropping refuse into an existing chute;

B. directing the refuse to fall substantially vertically through a refuse chute extension into a refuse container within a compacting chamber;

C. initiating a compaction cycle when the collected refuse in the refuse container has reached a predetermined level;

D. compacting the collected refuse within the refuse container within the compacting chamber by moving the refuse within the refuse container and compacting chamber along the axis of compaction against the chute extension, the closed end of the chute extension acting as a press head.

27. A method of compacting refuse comprising the steps of:

A. dropping refuse into an existing chute;

B. directing the refuse to fall substantially vertically into a refuse chute extension which is surrounded by a supply of and essentially sealed by the closed end of flexible tubing supported by a movable platform;

C. initiating a compacting cycle when the collected refuse at the base of the chute extension has reached a predetermined level;

D. compacting the collected refuse along the axis of collection within the chute extension; E. causing the compacted refuse to exit from the end of the chute extension while drawing from the supply of flexible tubing an enveloping bag;

F. simultaneously cutting and sealing the flexible tubing so as to form a sealed package of collected refuse supported on the movable platform and a new sealed base for the chute extension;

G. removing the compacted refuse package from the movable platform.

28. A compactor as defined in claim 15, and;

G. means for moving said press head and said transverse plate together to cause compacted material to be extruded from said unitary cylinder into said flexible bag; and

H. means for thereafter cutting the open end of said bag.

29. A compactor as defined in claim 24, further comprising:

D. at least two slidable plates a. mountedwithin said delivery chute,

b. conforming to and slidable along a portion of the walls thereof, and I c. each of said slidable plates having one of said press heads mounted thereto.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification53/527, 100/295, 100/220, 100/226, 53/576, 100/269.11, 100/218, 53/529, 100/49, 100/215
International ClassificationB09B3/00, B30B9/30
Cooperative ClassificationB09B3/0025, B65F1/0093, B30B9/30
European ClassificationB30B9/30, B09B3/00D, B65F1/00C