WO 2005058713 A1
A tray comprising a body having a front wall, back wall and a pair of side walls, a lip extending from the back wall and having a downwardly extending terminal portion to facilitate hooking on an upstanding flange. The back wall having a recess formed therein to accommodate a protuberance on a flange on which it is supported.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION  The present invention relates to garbage receptacles.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART  In environments where a working surface such as a counter is used, clean up involves wiping down the surface and any unwanted material is gathered for disposal into a trash receptacle. In a kitchen or a workshop where counter tops require frequent cleaning, it can be awkward to transfer the unwanted material to a trash receptacle that may be positioned on the ground at a lower level than the top of the counter. The distance between the counter top surface and trash receptacle opening may result in unwanted material being misplaced on the floor surrounding the trash receptacle, which creates another mess to clean. The thickness of the countertops and small overhang makes it difficult to collect the garbage so that some material may fall along the front surface of the desk or counter and especially when the material is wet or tacky, this material can stick to the front surfaces.
 In areas such as a kitchen, workshop or office, the counter tops that require cleaning are built on cabinets that are provided with closures such as drawers or cupboard doors beneath the counter top. These impede the positioning of a garbage receptacle and the placement of a receptacle in front of the closures likewise impedes access to the cabinets.
 There exists receptacle trays that are adapted to hook on the ledge of a table to collect items swept off of the table, for example poker chips. US patent 2,707,141 to Witter shows a tray that includes a means for hooking onto a ledge that is provided in combination with a table. The particular application of focus is a folding game table top. This type of tray requires the installation of a bracket to accommodate the hook of the tray. In the environment described herein, the design shown by Witter would not be suitable as it requires the installation of a bracket and therefore would not be flexible as to its position along the length of the surface to which it is affixed, nor would the presence of a bracket be aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, the presence of the bracket would affect the operation of doors and drawers associated with the counter top.  It is therefore an object of the present invention to obviate or mitigate at least one of the above mentioned disadvantages.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION  In one embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a tray that comprises a lip for detachably mounting the tray on an upstanding flange such as the edge of a cupboard door or the front member of a drawer. The tray includes an angled back wall extending outwardly from the lip to accommodate the presence of a handle which may be mounted on the front surface of the drawer or cupboard. The tray may also comprise spacers attached to the outer face of the back wall of the tray to support the tray against the drawer or door, keeping the tray at a substantially level horizontal position while continuing to accommodate the presence of drawer or door handles.
 Additional features that may be incorporated into different embodiments include removable spacers that can substitute in various lengths depending on the nature of the environment, measuring lines on the side walls, a spout for assisting in pouring out contents of the tray and removable or permanent divider walls to compartmentalize the interior of the tray. In addition, a raised front wall may be included to reduce spills while wiping the working surface, an interior ledge to support a filter or strainer, one or more auxiliary holders, adjustable lip for mounting the tray on flanges of varying sizes, a hole for draining the contents of the tray and a handle to assist in transport or movement of the tray.
 In another embodiment of the present invention, the tray is constructed without a bottom base. This open bottom will allow the use of a disposable waste bag which can be attached to the upper edge of the tray and can hang through the open bottom.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS  These and other features of the preferred embodiments of the invention will become more apparent in the following detailed description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:  Figure 1 is a typical kitchen counter with drawer, cupboard and a counter top garbage tray mounted on the drawer;  Figure 2 is side view of a garbage tray attached to a drawer;  Figure 3 is a top view of a garbage tray attached to a drawer;  Figure 4 is a zoomed view of a spring tensioned, adjustable lip;  Figure 5 is a top view of a garbage tray with removable spacers;  Figure 6 is a top view of a garbage tray with interior divider walls;  Figure 7 is a top view of a garbage tray with auxiliary holders;  Figure 8 is a top view of a garbage tray with a drain hole;  Figure 9 is a zoomed view of a drain hole plugged with a stopper;  Figure 10 is a side view of a garbage tray with a raised front wall;  Figure 11 is a side view of a garbage tray with an interior ledge and strainer;  Figure 12 is a side view of a garbage tray with a carrying handle;  Figure 13 is a side view of a garbage tray with a carrying handle and feet;  Figure 14 is a side view of a garbage tray with measuring lines;  Figure 15 is a side view of a garbage tray with an open bottom and disposable garbage bag attached.  Figure 16 is a side view of a further embodiment of tray.  Figure 17 is a view of the line XVII - XVII of Figure 16.  Figure 18 is a sectional view of a plurality of trays stacked.  Figure 19 is a view similar to Figure 18 of an alternative embodiment of trays.  Figure 20 is a view similar to Figure 18 of a still further embodiment.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS  Referring now to the drawings and particularly to Figure 1, a typical working surface includes a counter top 12 supported on a cupboard 13 with closures in the form of a door 14 and a drawer 16. The drawer 16 has a front 32 with an upstanding flange 21. The counter top 12 overhangs the front edge of the cupboard to protect the closures from drips or the like. A garbage tray 18 is mounted to the front of the drawer 16 so as to project beyond the edge of the top 12.
 The main features of the garbage tray 18 are most apparent in reference to Figures 2 and 3, which show both the side and top views, respectively, of the tray 18 as mounted to a drawer 16. The body of the tray 18 is integrally moulded from a plastic material and, includes a front wall 34, bottom base 30, sidewalls 36, back wall 26 and open top 28. The back wall 26 has an upper slopped portion 26a and lower vertical portion 26b to define a recess as indicated at 27 to accommodate a drawer handle 20 which is fixed to the front 32 of the drawer 16.  The tray 18 is detachably mounted on the upstanding flange 21 of the front 32 of the drawer 16 by way of a lip 22 that projects rearwardly from the upper edge of the back wall 26 and hooks around the upstanding flange 21. The lip 22 is thin so as to allow the drawer 16 to close completely, and allow the rear portion of the tray 18 to be positioned beneath the overhang of the countertop 12. The lip 22 has a degree of flexibility to allow it to accommodate different thickness of flange 21 as it is used in different locations. The lip 22 grips the flange 21 while allowing the tray 18 to be readily removed and placed in a different location.
 The tray 18 is held substantially in a level horizontal position by way of a pair of spacers 24. The spacers 24 are attached to the exterior face of the back wall 26 and extend from this face to rest against the outer face of the front member 32 of the drawer 16. It will be appreciated that the shape of the back wall 26 may be of any contour while continuing to extend outwardly to accommodate the presence of a handle 20. Furthermore, the spacers 24 may be of any shape, size or orientation while continuing to prop the tray 18, in the manner described herein.
 As can been seen most clearly in Figure 3, the spacers 24 are positioned at spaced locations along the tray 18, between the two side walls 36 so as to avoid the drawer handle 20. Also shown in Figure 3, is a typical location for a cupboard door knob 38. It can be seen that the position of the spacers 24 also accommodates the typical location of a cupboard door knob 38. This view furthermore shows the nature of the lip 22 that hooks over the upstanding flange 21 of the front member 32 of the drawer 16. It can be appreciated that the lip 22 may be provided as one continuous piece or provided as shown with two symmetrical members and any number of spacers 24 may be used as needed in the particular application. It is also possible to exclude the spacers 24, particularly if there is no need to prop the tray 18 in a level, horizontal manner and rely upon the tray 18 resting against the drawer or door handle • 20 if necessary. This is possible due to the slanted and outwardly extending nature of the back wall 26.
 When in use, the tray is positioned on the drawer front by sliding the lip 22 over the flange 21. With the drawer closed, the tray is positioned beneath the edge of the counter top. In this position the tray 18 collects any unwanted material that is wiped or swept from the surface of the counter top 12 in the direction of the tray 18 to fall within the basin of the tray 18. To perform this task most effectively, the drawer 16 must be in a closed position with the tray 18 positioned partially beneath the overhang of the counter top 12. This creates a continuous surface to ensure that all of the material being wiped or swept from the surface of the counter top 12 is collected within the tray 18. The tray 18 however, is mounted such that the drawer 16 may be opened if access to the drawer 16 is required.
 The tray 18 is mounted by hooking the lip 22 around the upstanding flange 21 of the front member 32 of the drawer 16 and allowing the spacers 24 to rest against the front face of the drawer 16 which maintains the tray 18 in a substantially level and horizontal orientation. The spacers 24 prop the tray 18 away from the drawer handle 20 which allows the tray 18 to be used on any drawer 16 or cupboard door without the need for additional hardware such as a bracket or without any modifications such as the removal of a drawer handle 20.
 When the tray is full or the preparation finished, the tray may be removed and taken to the garbage for disposal.
 The lip 22 may be adjustable as shown in Figure 4. An inner L-shaped lip 40 is slideably attached within the upper horizontal member 42 of the back wall 26 and tensioned using a spring 44. This configuration allows the tray 18 to be adjustable to accommodate drawers 16 and drawer handles 20 of various sizes. It is appreciated that the lip 22 may be adjustable by means other than that of a spring 44, such as by use of a pin and a series of holes or any other known method of securing a pair of relative moving members in multiple positions.
 Further modifications can be made to maintain adjustability of the tray 18 to accommodate different configurations of drawer. Making reference now to Figure 5, the spacers 24 may be removable. The rear wall 26 is formed with a pair of slots 52 that receive a t-shaped removable prop 50. The prop may vary in size to accommodate various drawer 16 configurations.
 In some situations it may be beneficial to be able to empty the contents of the tray 18 while it remains in its operable position. As illustrated in Figure 8 and Figure 9, to allow b this to occur the tray 18 can be modified to include a drain hole 80 within the bottom base 30 and a stopper 90 which seals the tray 18 until emptying is required. In a situation where continuous quantities of small material is accumulated within the tray 18, the user may remove the plug 90 from the bottom base 30 allowing the contents to drain or if necessary to be rinsed from the tray 18 into a bucket or additional garbage receptacle located beneath the drain hole 80. It may be appreciated that the stopper 90 may plug the drain hole 80 by being applied to either the inner or outer surface of the bottom base 30 and is up to the discretion of the user.
 In other situations, it may be desirable to empty the tray by pouring its contents using a spout 60 as seen most clearly in Figure 6. The material collected in the tray 18 may be of a desirable kind and could, for example, be vegetables that have been chopped on the surface of the counter top 12. In this situation, as shown in Figure 14, the side walls 36 can be of a transparent material that would allow measuring lines 140 to be marked. The user may then empty the contents of the tray 18 using the spout 60, when the proper amount of material is accumulated as indicated by comparison with the measuring lines 140. Also shown in Figure 6 is a set of dividers 62 that can compartmentalize the tray 18 if desired. This may be especially useful when the tray 18 is used to accumulate desirable material from the counter top 12. The dividers 62 may be permanent, but it is most desirable for them to be removable.
 Other additional features can be incorporated, especially for use in a kitchen environment. As see in Figure 7, auxiliary holders can be built in to the walls of the tray 18. One form could be of a pouch shape 70 to hold large objects such as a scraper 74. Another form could be of a rack with slots 72 to hold utensils such as knives. It may be appreciated that these are only examples of useful auxiliary holders and may exist in various forms as required by the particular environment and situation. As shown in Figure 11, an inner ledge 110 may be incorporated to accommodate the use of a strainer or filter 112. This may also be useful in a kitchen environment where unwanted fluids can be strained into the basin of the tray 18.
 The basic shape of the tray 18 may be modified to incorporate other additional features depending on the application. As can be seen in Figure 10, the front wall 100 can be extended to be of a higher profile then the top opening 28 of the tray 18. A high front wall 100 is beneficial for catching material as it is swept off of the working surface 12 towards the opening 28 of the tray 18. Referring now to Figure 12 and Figure 13, protrusions 120 of the front wall 34 can act as a handle for transporting or moving the tray 18. Additionally, modifications to the shape of the bottom base 122, 130 are useful for standing the tray 18 in an upright position.
 In another embodiment of the present invention, the tray 18 described herein may comprise of an open top and an open bottom 150 as shown in Figure 15. This particular configuration is most useful in an environment where the material being cleaned from the working surface 12 is of the type that will be discarded. The open bottom 150 allows for a disposable garbage bag 152 to be folded over the top rim 154 of the tray 18 and the remainder of the bag will fall through the open bottom 150. The rim 154 is formed with a flared skirt 156 and hooks 158 along its forward and side edges to secure the bag to the tray 18. A groove 160 is formed on the rear edge to accommodate the bag 152 and allow the drawer to close.
 A further embodiment is shown in Figures 16 and 17. A tray 18 has a sloped front wall 34 that merges smoothly with base 30. The back wall 26 has a pair of channels 130 integrally moulded in the back wall 26 to provide spacers 24. The upper edge of back wall 26 is inclined to merge with the lip 22.
 A seal 132 is secured to the lip 22 so as to project upwardly along the major extent of the lip. The seal 132 is flexible and tapers to its upper tip so as to be able to conform to the underside of countertop 12. The seal 132 may be formed from a number of plastics or rubber material and may be integrally moulded with the tray 18 if preferred.
 In operation, the lip 22 may engage the top edge of a drawer or door with the cannels 130 abutting the front. As the drawer is closed, the seal engages the countertop and forms an effective seal to prevent ingress of debris into the drawer.
 The tray 18 is contoured to be stackable with similar trays by virtue of the tapered front wall, sidewalls and channels to facilitate storage and transportation. As shown in Figure 18, the stackability may be enhanced by the provision of a foot 130, similar to that shown in Figure 13 to maintain separation of the units.  Alternatively, as shown in Figure 19, the skirt 162 can depend from the rim of front face 34 and sides 26 and the rim of the lower tray in the stack.
 As a further alternative, as shown in Figure 20, ribs 164 may be moulded on the exterior of rear face 26 and on the interior of front face 34 to support the trays in stacked configuration.
 In each embodiment, the tray 18 is positioned to provide a container beneath the edge of the counter top that does not interfere with the use of the drawer or cupboard on which it is mounted. It may readily be removed to facilitate storage when not in use or work at different areas of the counter top.
 Although the invention has been described with reference to certain specific embodiments, various modifications thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as outlined in the claims appended hereto.