US 3903790 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Gladwin Sept. 9, 1975 [5 1 TRASH COMPACTOR 3,855,9l9 12 1974 Potter H 100/215 )4  Inventor gLL i E' S EJQZS 1113' Primary Examiner-Billy J. Wilhite Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cullen, Settle, Sloman &  Filed: Oct. 16, 1974 Cantor  Appl. No.. 515,187 ABSTRACT A trash Compactor having a loose trash receiving con-  Cl 100/215; 53/124 Bi 100/229 A; tainer and a plunger mounted to reciprocate into and 100/245; 100/295; Zn/80 out of the container to compact the trash therein. The [511 a B303 15/30 plunger closely fits within the container, and an edge  held of Search 229 of the plunger is formed as a recessed, rabbit-like, L- 100/240 245; 53/124 B; [Ad/80 shaped step for catching and pushing into the container loose trash which tends to become trapped be-  Reierences cued tween the side walls of the plunger and the container. UNITED STATES PATENTS The container is box-like in shape and is supported 1,826,586 l0/193l Williams 100/295 UX upon a piston-rod operated by a cylinder mounted 2,622,778 12/1952 Poland 100/295 UX upon a fixed beam arranged transversely of the 2, 5/1959 Strong 4 l A 100/295 X plunger, and aligned notches formed in the plunger 3.353.478 l1/1967 Hopkinsm loo/295 X walls transversely receive the beam within the plunger 3'650'l20 Hana 00/295 x when the plunger is spaced from the container. 3,772,984 I 1/1973 Karls et al.... 100/295 X 3,827,348 8/l974 Hennells 100/229 A 9 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTED 975 sum 1 of 2 FIG. E
PATENTEDSEP ms SHEET 2 BF 2 TRASH COMPACTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention herein relates to an improved trash compressor or compactor of the type exemplified in my prior US Pat. Nos. 3,438,321 issued Apr. l5, I969 and 3,824,920 issued July 23, 1974. As illustrated in such patents, such type of trash compactors generally comprise a housing within which a trash receiving container is located. A piston or plunger arranged above the container reciprocates into the container periodically for compressing or compacting the loose trash thrown therein through an open portion of the housing. From time to time, the container may be removed from the housing for emptying the compacted trash therefrom. For this purpose, the container may be provided with a bag-like liner for easy removal of the trash from the container.
Such type devices are intended for use primarily in handling large quantities of trash, particularly paper and plastic types of trash as accumulates in cafeterias, schools and other types of institutions. For such uses, it is desirable to provide the maximum compacting of the loose trash thereby requiring a very strong, but economical, compactor construction which is as troublefree as possible. In such type devices, one form of problem that arises is that at times trash tends to become trapped between the side walls of the plunger or piston and the walls of the container, thereby jamming the piston in its reciprocating movement and requiring manual freeing of the jammed trash. Another type of problem arising in such equipment is that the reaction forces on the plunger or piston during compacting of trash, requires a relatively heavy back-up or support structure which also is bulky and increases the overall size of the compactor. Thus, the invention herein re lates to an improved construction which tends to eliminatc the foregoing problems as well as provide a more economical compactor construction.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION The invention herein relates to a trash compactor formed of a cabinet or housing within which an open top receptacle or container for trash is positioned, with a box-like plunger or piston arranged above the container for periodically reciprocating into the container and compressing the trash therein. The forward and rear walls forming the box-like plunger are formed with rabbited or L-shaped stepped lower edges which push trash, which is caught between the container walls and the plunger walls, downwardly into the container to thereby avoid jamming.
The plunger is supported upon the lower end ofa pis ton rod fitted within a hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder which is mounted upon a transversely arranged beam which spans the cabinet above the plunger. The opposite end walls of the plunger are notched so that the plunger may be elevated to the point where the beam is received within the hollow plunger thereby permitted it to be raised a considerable distance above the open end of the container. The beam is reinforced by a secondary, centrally located reinforcing beam which also fits within the plunger so that the overall height of the cabinet may be reduced.
The box-like shape of the plunger and its stepped edges, along with the beam support, permits the application of considerable force upon the loose trash thrown within the container to thereby permit a substantial degree of compression for increasing the capacity of the compactor.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the following description, of which the attached drawings form a part.
DESCRIPT ION OF DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective, elevational view of the compactor with its front panels open so as to view the internal construction.
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view taken as if in the direction of arrows 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side, cross-sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the plunger and its support beam.
FIG. 5 is an end view of the plunger and support beam per se with the beam received within the plunger.
FIGS. 6 through 9, inclusive, are fragmentary side views, partly in cross-section, showing various steps in the downward movement of the plunger for compacting trash within the container.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As illustrated in FIGS. l3, the compactor or compressor 10 is formed of an open front cabinet or housing 11 within which is positioned a trash container or receptacle 12. Such container is preferably substantially rectangular in a cross-section with an open top. Covering the container receiving area of the cabinet is a door panel 14 which preferably is hinged to one side of the cabinet for swinging open into the position shown in FIG. I. The door panel 14 is provided with a window-like opening 15 communicating with the space above the container. Such opening is preferably closed with a swinging closure I6 having side guides or flanges I7 which fit closely along the inside surfaces of the side walls of the cabinet when the door and closure are both closed. The closure is preferably hinged along a horizontal axis by hinge pins 18 along its lower edge (see FIGS. 3 and 6).
An upper panel 19 closes the remainder of the cabinet opening above the door panel 14. Such upper panel may also be hingedly connected by suitable conventional hinges (not shown) to the side wall of the cabinet.
A box-like, preferably substantially rectangular in shape, plunger or piston 21 is arranged within the cabinet, at a distance above the open end of the container 12. Such plunger or piston may be formed of heavy gauge sheet metal and is provided with a base plate or face 22, which contacts and compresses the trash within the container, and vertically arranged front and rear walls 23 and 24. The lower edges of these walls are indented or stepped to form rabbit-like inverted L- shaped lower edge portion 25. The plunger also in cludes end walls 26 whose upper edges are provided with aligned notches 27. The plunger is of a size and shape to closely correspond to the opening of the container so that it closely fits within the container, except for the L-shaped lower stepped edges which are spaced inwardly a short distance from the corresponding container walls.
Above the plunger, within the cabinet, a transversely arranged beam spans the space between the side walls of the cabinet with its ends secured to such side walls. Preferably, the beam is U-shaped in cross-section. A second, lower beam 31 which is shorter than the upper beam 30, is centered upon the base of the upper beam and welded thereto for reinforcing the transverse beam 30 against buckling and at the same time permitting lightening its weight and thinning its cross-section while maintaining its ability to sustain the required reaction loads.
A vertically arranged, hydraulic or pneumatic power cylinder 33 is centered on the transverse beam, passing downwardly through an opening in the upper beam 30 and having its lower end welded or otherwise fastened to the lower beam section 31 and preferably also to the upper beam 30. A piston rod 34 contained within the cylinder 33 and provided with a cylinder piston 35 (see FIG. 3) for pneumatic or hydraulic operation, extends downwardly through a piston rod opening 36 in the lower beam 31 so that its lower end 37 is rigidly connected to the center of the plunger base plate 22. In addition, a stabilizing rod 40,journalled through holes 41 and 42 in the beam sections 30 and 31, has its lower end 43 connected to the plunger base plate 22.
A suitable hydraulic or pneumatic pump and motor system 45 is mounted within the cabinet for providing fluid for the operation of the cylinder 33 and the culinder piston 35. The hydraulic or pneumatic pump and motor system 45 may be of any conventional type and thus, is illustrated only schematically. Likewise, where compressed air is available, it may be directly connected to the cylinder, thus eliminating any need for compressors or motors within the cabinet for that purpose.
The cabinet also contains such manually or automatically operated electrical switches as may be necessary for actuating the plunger for periodic operation, that is for actuating the cylinder 33, as well as suitable safety switches for deactivating the system upon opening of the cabinet panels or the swinging closure 16. Detailed descriptions of these are omitted here since they form no part of the invention herein.
As can be seen in FIG. 7, the lower edge 47 of the closure 16 is sufficiently thickened so that when the closure is arranged vertically or upright, such lower edge overlaps the forward upper edge of the container. Similarly, the rear upper edge of the container is overlapped by the lower edge 48 of a rear inner panel 49 mounted upon the rear wall of the cabinet.
OPERATION In operation, the container 12 is positioned within the cabinet as illustrated in the drawings. Preferably, a plastic or paper bag liner is positioned within the container. The plunger is elevated to the point where the transverse beam 30 is received within the end wall notches 27 (see FIG. 5) and the beam lower section 31 is entirely contained within the plunger. Thus, a maximum space is provided between the bottom of the plunger and the open upper end of the container.
The users of the Compactor, merely manually open the swinging closure 16, depositing trash thereon. The trash slides down between the side guides 17 and falls into the open upper end of the container I2. Pcriodi cally, as the loose trash accumulates within the container, the plunger is manually or automatically (e.g., by a timer or a level sensing switch) actuated for lower ing and compacting the trash. This may be accomplished by a suitable electrical circuit and hand operated switch which actuates the pneumatic or hydraulic system 45 to cause the piston rod 34 to lower and thereby lower the plunger.
As the plunger lowers, any trash which has accumulated above the height of the container is guided downwardly into the container by the inner surface of the closure 16 and by the rear inner plate 49. Continued lowering of the plunger compacts the trash, which for the most part tends to remain beneath the plunger base plate or face 22. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 6-9, the trash, generally designated as 50, gradually compacts or compresses as the plunger moves downwardly. However, should trash fragments, designated 51 in FIG. 8, tend to catch between the plunger walls and the walls of the container, such fragments or trash portions slip into the stepped lower edges 25 of the front and rear walls of the plunger and then are pushed downwardly by the bases of the inverted L-shape configuration forming such steps. In that way, trash cannot jam tightly between the close fitting portions of the front and rear walls of the plunger and the corresponding walls of the container. By providing a place for these trash fragments and a means for pushing them inwardly into the container, jam-ups are substantially eliminated.
The arrangement wherein the transverse beam is fitted within the plunger when the plunger is elevated, makes it possible to provide the plunger with higher walls for both strength and elimination of jam-ups and at the same time permits a reduction in the overall height of the cabinet. Moreover, the plunger can thereby be shaped to compact a large area which may be rectangular, as illustrated in the drawings, or square, to thereby increase the capacity of the Compactor as compared to prior devices.
Having fully described an operative embodiment of this invention, I now claim:
1. In a trash compactor having a trash receiving container into which loose trash is placed for compacting therein, with the container having an open end, and a compressor plunger arranged for reciprocating into and out of the container through said open end, with the plunger having a base face for contacting with and compressing against the trash within the container, and having side walls extending away from the base face, with the plunger being sized to closely fit within and through the container open end with its side walls closely adjacent to the periphery of said container open end, the improvement comprising:
at least a portion of said side walls along an edge of said base face, being stepped inwardly, i.e., in a direction towards the center of said base face, to form a rabbit-like L-shaped edge portion between the side wall portion and base face, so that the base face along said edge and the adjacent wall surface are spaced inwardly a considerable distance from the corresponding adjacent peripheral portion of said container open end;
whereby as the plunger moves through the open end into the container for compacting trash therein, any trash portions located at said plunger edge portion and caught between the plunger stepped edge portion and the periphery of the container open end, are pushed into the container by the portion of the wall forming the leg of the L-shaped step, thereby avoiding the trash portion jamming against the plunger wall portion and the container open end periphery.
2. A construction as defined in claim 1, and said plunger base face being substantially rectangular in shape, with said walls being approximately perpendicular thereto, and with said stepped edge portion extending along the full length of at least one of the edges of the base face.
3. A construction as defined in claim 1, and means for reciprocating the plunger comprising a fixed elongated beam arranged transversely of the plunger, on the side of the plunger base face opposite to the container;
a piston rod journalled through the beam and fastened to the plunger and a cylinder means for reciprocating the piston rod;
and with a pair of aligned slots formed in the plunger walls for receiving the beam within the plunger when the plunger is moved away from the container.
4. A construction as defined in claim 1, and said container being substantially rectangular in cross-section, with the plunger correspondingly being rectangular and with said stepped edge portion extending along the full length of at least one of the edges of the plunger base face.
5. In a trash compactor having a housing enclosing a trash receiving container with an open end, a plunger for reciprocating into and out of the container through the open end thereof, and an improved means for supporting and moving the plunger, comprising:
an elongated, narrow beam arranged within and extending transversely of the housing, at a distance from the container open end, with the plunger arranged between the beam and container open end, and a piston rod journalled through the beam and having one end connected to the plunger for driving the plunger, and with means mounted upon the beam for moving the piston rod;
said plunger being formed in a hollow, box-like shape, i.e., with a base plate and with walls secured to the base plate, and a pair of aligned notches formed in the walls at opposite sides of the plunger for receiving the beam within the plunger transversely of the plunger base plate, when the plunger is withdrawn from the container.
6. A construction as defined in claim 5, and said beam being formed of two sections, namely, a long section extending a length greater than the width of the plunger for being received within said notches, and a short section, centered on the long section and shorter than the width of the plunger for fitting entirely within the plunger.
7. A construction as defined in claim 5, and wherein an inverted L-shaped stepped edge is formed along a portion of the plunger wall along the peripheral edge of the base plate, with the base of the L-shape being at a distance from and generally parallel to the plunger base plate;
and the plunger being shaped and sized to closely fit within the container open edge beyond its stepped edge, whereby the base of the L-shaped stepped edge pushes trash caught between the plunger walls and container open end, into the container to prevent jamming of the plunger due to trash trapped between the plunger walls and the periphery of the open end of the wall defining the container.
8. In a trash compactor formed of an enclosed cabinet-like housing, with an upwardly opening container arranged within the housing lower portion, a vertically reciprocal piston arranged above the container for movement downwardly into and upwardly out of the container, with the piston normally spaced a distance above the container to provide a space into which trash may be thrown to fall downwardly into the container, and a trash receiving opening formed in the front of the cabinet at said space, with a closure normally closing said opening, the improvement comprising:
said container being foursided, i.e., square or rectangular in cross-section and said piston being shaped to closely fit into said container, and being formed of a base plate and vertically arranged walls;
the lower corners of said closure being hingedly connected to the housing along a horizontal axis, for tilting the closure away from the container to form a trash chute, and with the closure lower edge extending into the housing and covering the front of the container upper edge, i.e., the edge portion which is adjacent said trash receiving opening, when the closure is arranged in a vertical position for closing, to thereby guide trash into the container;
and the lower edge of the piston front wall, i.e., the
wall adjacent the closure, having its lower portion stepped inwardly and downwardly to form an inverted L-shaped wall portion whose vertical leg is spaced inwardly a short distance from the adjacent container wall, and whose horizontal leg pushes downwardly into the container any trash which may become caught between the container wall and the piston wall.
9. A construction as defined in claim 8, and including a plate-like guide overlapping and extending the length of the rear upper edge of the container, and the piston rear wall being likewise stepped inwardly similarly to the piston front wall.