US 3802728 A
A device is disclosed for picking up waste or other material which includes a container structure equipped with a selectively operable closure means and a removable handle mechanism attached to the container structure for actuating the closure means to thereby simultaneously cover the container and capture the waste material therein.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Giacopelli WASTE RETRIEVAL DEVICE  lnventor: James J. Giacopelli, 51-20 Van Kleeck St., Elmhurst, N.Y. l 1373 Filed: Aug. 14, 1972 Appl. No.: 280,261
 US. Cl. 294/19 R, 294/1 R  Field of Search 294/1 R, 19 R, 50.6, 50.8,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1962 .lohnson....; .294/1R 2/1973 Ayers .294/19R Int. Cl. A47f 13/06 @[111 3,802,728 1 Apr. 9,1974
492,824 3/1893 McLean 3,431,008 3/1969 Narita 294/55 3,446,525 5/1969 Jones 294/19 R 3,716,263 2/1973 Gatti 294/19 R Primary Examiner-Richard E. Aegerter Assistant Examiner-Johnny D. Cherry 7 Attorney, Agent, or FirmPennie & Edmonds 57 ABSTRACT A device is disclosed for picking; up waste or other material which includes a container structure equipped with a selectively operable closure means and a removable handle mechanism attached to the container structure for actuating the closure means to thereby simultaneously cover the container and capture the waste material therein.
8 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEBAPR 9W4 SHEEI 2 BF 2 1 f WASTE RETRIEVAL DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Currently, much time, effort and money are being ex-, pended for the purpose of finding solutions to the problems posed by the ecology crisis presently facing the world, particularly the United States. This important task with its far reaching consequences for mankind has been assumed by virtually all sectors of the population including industry, government and even private individuals seeking to contribute to workable solutions.
One of the prime targets in the ecology movement is to stop continued pollution of air, land and waterways. Such pollution is generally caused by the indiscriminate discharge of man-made waste material into the environment. While much of this polluting waste material consists of industrial lay-products, a considerable amount consists of deposits of garbage of one sort or another strewn about parks, highways and other lands. Today one need not look far to find such deposits including empty bottles and cans, unused food, waste paper and other trash. Another example of land pollution which is currently the subject of public discussion is the unsightly and unpleasantly odorous deposits of bestial discharge scattered indiscriminately about streets and private property by pets such as dogs and other animals. In one large metropolitan area legislation is currently' pending which would require that owners of dogs retrievetheir petsdischarge and discard it in an appropriate place.
The present invention was conceived in an effort to provide a device for retrieving waste material of the type described above which would be simple in construction,.economical to produce, easy and convenient to use, and relatively inexpensive in terms of cost to the user.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 'In accordance with the teachings of this invention, a new and useful device is provided for retrieving waste and other material. In construction,'the device includes a container structure comprising an open ended container body and selectively operable closure means for simultaneously closing the container and capturing the waste material therein. The closure means includes a lid element which is resiliently biased in a position such 7 that the container remains open until it is to be used.
disengaging the container structure after use.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows one embodiment in perspective of the waste retrieval device according to this invention.
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 partially broken away to showthe operative features of the invention.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged viewof a portion of the container body and closure means of the waste retrieval .device of this invention.
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 depicting the open and closed position of the lid element of the container structure.
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of an alternative embodiment of the lid element of the container structure depicting its open and closed position.
FIGS. 6-8 are cross-sectional elevational views of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 depicting in sequence the operation of the waste retrieval device according to this invention.
. FIG. 9 is an elevational view partially broken away depicting a series of container structure according to this invention arranged in a stacked fashion.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION With reference to FIG. 1 the waste retrieval device shown comprises a container structure, indicated generally by reference numeral], for receiving waste material and a handle mechanism, indicated generally by reference numeral 20, for carrying the container structure, actuating the closure means and separating a filled container structure from the handle mechanism for discard in a suitable place.
As shown most clearly in FIGS. 2 and -3, the container structure includes a container body in the form of a cup-like member 2 which has a generally cylindrical COIlfigUlfltiOtl'iflPeliflg slightly inward toward its closed end. The closed end of cup member 2 is provided with a peripheral groove 3 defining a lip 4 which is used for attaching the cup member to the handle mechanism as will be more fully described below. The open end of cup member 2 is provided with shoulder 5 which defines a cylindrical rim 6 the edge 7 of which forms the mouth of the cup member 2. With this construction a plane lying tangentially to rim 6 and the plane defined by the edge 7 of rim 6 are disposed in perpendicular relationship to each other. The cup member is preferably made of lightweight flexible plastic and shoulder 5 acts to strengthen the mouth of cup 'ing it less flexible than the rest of the cup member.
For the purpose of closing the open end of cup member 2 to capture waste material therein selectively operable closure means is provided. This means includes a lid element in the form of a resilient membrane 8 which is movable between first position lying alongside the periphery of rim 6 and adjacent edge 7 in which position the cup member 2- is not closed (open position) and a second position overlying the mouth of cup member 2 in which position the cup member is substantially closed. The lid element is resiliently biased in its open position. The closure means further includes a releasable retaining means in the form of a sleeve or ring 9 for holding the lid element in its open position.
The sleeve 9 is disposed within the cup member in frictional engagement with the inner surface of rim 6, and is movable internally of the rim in a direction extending generally transverse to the plane defined by the mouth of the cup member between two positions. In its first or extended position shown most clearly in FIG. 3 it will be seen that a portion of sleeve 9 extends exteriorly of the cup member beyond the edge 7 of rim 6. In its second or retracted position shown most clearly in FIG. 7 the sleeve 9 is disposed interiorly of cup member 2 with its outer edge 10 positioned flush with the edge 7 of rim 6. In the construction shown, the sleeve 9 and rim 6 are dimensional so that they are substantially equal in length. In its extended position, approximately half of sleeve 9 projects beyond rim 6, the other half being disposed within rim 6.
The resilient membrane 8 is made of rubber such as a ballon skin. It has two positions which are herein defined as the open positionand closed position. In its open position, membrane 8 is secured along its outer periphery in tightly gripping relationship to the external surface of rim 6 and held in place by nib ll projecting from the external surface of rim 6.
The inner periphery of membrane 8 is definedby an integrally formed bead 12 made of the same material as membrane 8. With the membrane stretched into its open position as-shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the bead 12 engages the external surface of sleeve 9 which is in the extended position. As mentioned, the membrane is in a stretched condition in its open position. In its closed position overlying the mouth of cup member 2, the membrane is in a substantially relaxed condition althoughit is somewhat stretched so that it lies tautly over the mouth of cup member 2. The membrane 8 movesnaturally under the force of its inherent resiliency from its open position to its closed position upon being released by movement of sleeve 9 into rim 6, all of which will be more fully described below in that portion of the specification which describes the operation of the retrieval device.
In order to actuate the closure means, the retrieval device of this invention is provided with means for creating relativemovement between the sleeve 9 and rim 6. In the construction shown this means, in the form of handle mechanism 20, acts to apply a force against the cup member 2 relative to the retaining sleeve 9 causing the rim 6 of the cup member to slide downward over sleeve 9 which does not move. As shown, the handle mechanism of the retrieval device includes a hollow support rod 21 one end of which is attached to a suitable gripping piece 22. The other end of rod 21 is connected to an attachment plate 23 having a generally cloverleaf configuration forming a series of generally triangular gripping arms 24. Each arm 24 has a bent over end portion 25 with a curled under tip 26. Upon pressing the cup member and plate 23 together, the tips 26 engage groove 3 in cup member 2 to thereby secure the handle structure and container structure in a single unit.
For the purpose of disengaging the container structure from the handle mechanism, ejection means is provided. This means includes a plunger rod 27 mounted for axial movement within hollow support rod 21. One end of plunger rod 27 extends into the gripping piece 22 a short distance. A spring loaded push button 28 is mounted on this end of the plunger rod. Compression spring 29 is disposed between button 28 and the bottom bar 30 of gripping piece 22. The other end of the plunger rod is connected to a plunger disc 31 which, in its inactive position, is situated between the closed end of cup member 2 and the overlying plate member 23 of the handle mechanism and it is held in-contact with the under surface of gripping arms 24 by spring 29. When button 28 is depressed disc 31 moves into contact with the cup member 2 forcing it apart from attachment plate 23. Upon release of button 28 the disc 31 returns automatically to its inactive position.
.The operation of the waste retrieval device is best shown in FIGS. 68. With the handle mechanism and container structure assembled, the device with the lid membrane 8 in its open position and the sleeve 9 in its extended position is placed over the material 40 to be retrieved as shown in FIG. 6 so that the material is completely covered by the inverted cup member with the sleeve 9 resting on the surrounding terrain. A downward force is then appliedto the gripping'piece 22.by the user. The force causes the retaining sleeve 9 to move to its retracted position. In turn, the bead 12 is caused to slip off the sleeve 9 and move across the mouth of the cup member from its open to its closed position as shown from different views in FIGS. 4 and 7. As the membrane 8 moves to its closed position in this manner the material 40 is captured inside the cup member. Upon initial movement of sleeve 9 the bead 12 may tend to ridewith the sleeve 9 until it contacts the edge 7 of rim 6 which will force the bead 12 to slip over the end of retracting sleeve 9. Due to the tendency of the bead 12 to initially ride with sleeve 9, it is important, with the construction shown in the drawings, that there be substantially no clearance between the external surface of sleeve 9 and the internal surface of rim 6 otherwise there would be a tendency for bead 12 to become jammed in between these surfaces. As shown, the external corner 13 of sleeve 9 is rounded to facilitate slippage of bead 12 off sleeve 9. The rounded cor ner 13 also acts to prevent the bead 12 from being pinched between the sleeve 9 and rim 6 since bead 12 tends to follow the curvature of the corner 13 thus moving away from any gap between sleeve 9 and rim 6 which due to the relative movement between these members might produce a pinching action.
With the material firmly captured inside the now closed cup member, the entire container structure may be discarded simply by actuating the plunger mechanism to eject the container structure as shown in FIG. 8. Although the container structure is presently constructed asa disposable unit it could be reused simply by resetting the membrane lid and retaining sleeve in their initially open and extended positions, respectively.
An alternative embodiment of the resilient membrane is shown in FIG. 5 where it will be seen that the membrane consists of two semi-circular sections each equipped with integrally formed diametrically extending beads 12a. When the membrane moves to its closed position the beads 12a meet along a substantially straight line as shown. In all other respects the membrane 8a shown in FIG. 5 is the same both structurally and functionally as membrane 8 described previously.
With the retrieval device according to this invention several advantages, in addition to those already mentioned, are provided. As mentioned previously, the container structure is disposable. After use, it may be discarded quickly and conveniently by means of the plunger in the handle mechanism and easily replaced with a new one. With the handle structure it is unnecessary to bend or stoop over to retrieve waste material nor is it necessary to use ones hands which is especially advantageous when the material to'be retrieved is of a messy sort. On occasions when the device is used to v pick up the stool of a dog or other pet, the owner is spared theunpleasant task of scooping the stool by means of a shovel into a paper bag or other receptacle.
The retrieval device of this invention is exceedingly simple in construction and dependable in operation. If the cup member has the tapering construction shown in the drawings, a plurality of ready-to-use container structures may be purchased and stored by the user in a stacked arrangement as shown in FIG. 9.
It will be recognized that various modifications can be made to thisinvention without departing from the spirit and scope of the following claims.
I claim: r
1. A device for retrieving waste or other material comprising: 1
a. an open ended container body for placement in an inverted position over said material in covering relationship thereto receive said material;
b. a closure means mounted on the container including a lid element comprisinga resilient membrane mounted for movement between an open position along side the mouth of the receptacle defined by container body and a closed position overlying said mouth and underlying the material to be retrieved, said resilient membrane having a substantially relaxed condition defining the closed position and a stretched condition defining the open position of said lid element, a releasable retaining means comprising a sleeve member mounted within said container body for movement along a path of travel extending in a direction generally tranverse to the plane defined'by the mouth of the container between an extended position such that a portion of the sleeve member projects exteriorly of the container body and a retracted position inwardly of the extended position, said resilient membrane in its open position engaging the external surface of said extended portion of the sleeve member whereby movement of the sleeve member to its retracted position causes release of the engaging membrane by a slipping action over the end of the sleeve thereby permitting the membrane to move to its closed position; and l a means for activating the closure means comprising means for relasing the retaining means.
2. The retrieval device according to claim 1 wherein:
a. the external surface of the sleeve member and the internal surface of the container body are disposed in frictional contacting relationship; and
b. said extended portion of the sleeve has a rounded outer edge to facilitate release of the membrane from engagement therewith.
3. The retrieval device according to claim 2 wherein said force application means comprises a handle structure removably attached to the container body.
4. The retrieval device according to claim 3 wherein said handle structure includes an ejector means for separating the handle structure and container body.
5. The retrieval device according to claim 4 wherein said ejector means comprises a spring loaded plunger mechanism adapted to forcefully separate the container body from the handle structure.
6. The retrieval device according to claim 1 wherein said resilient membrane has a circular configuration containing a centrally disposed opening when said membrane is in its relaxed condition.
7. The retrieval device according to claim 1 wherein said resilient membrane includes two sections each having a semi-circular configuration. r
8. A device for retrieving wasteand other material comprising:
a. an open-ended container body for placement in an inverted position over said material in covering relationship thereto to receive said material;
b. a selectively operable closure means mounted on the container for simultaneously closing the open end of said container body and capturing the material therein including a lid element comprising a resilient membrane having a relaxed condition defining a closed position of the lid element and a stretched condition defining an open position mounted exterioally on the periphery of the container body for movement between the open position and the closed position overlying the openended portion of the container and'underlying said material, said lid element is resiliently biased in its open position, said closure means further including a releasable retaining means for holding said lid element resiliently biased in its open position whereby upon release of the retaining means the lid element automatically attains its closed position capturing the waste material-within the container body; and
0. means for activating the closure means.