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Mr. KEMP. I expected Mr. Johnson to give the appropriation de tails. He is the Deputy Director of Sanitary Engineering. Mr, Xanten is the Superintendent of the Refuse Division.
Mr. BATEs. Now, this tabulation of costs here I want that to be part of this record.
Mr. KEMP. You are getting that at this point because it is very important evidence—and Mr. David Auld, Superintendent of the Water Division. These gentlemen will be pleased to give a more detailed discussion of anything I have offered.
Mr. BATES. Mr. Auld spoke here the other day.
Mr. KEMP. Construction material costs. This is just cost of materials—not installed, just the cost. Ten-inch terra cotta pipe was 29 cents a foot in 1937, and is 49 cents today, or an increase of 69 percent.
Twelve-inch pipe, terra cotta pipe, increased from 36 cents in 1937 to 70 cents in 1947, an increase of 79 percent.
Fifteen-inch terra cotta pipe increased from 65 cents in 1937 to $1.20 in 1947, an increase of 84 percent.
Twenty-four-inch terra cotta pipe increased from $1.63 in 1937 to $3.11 in 1947, a 90-percent increase.
Now, brick-red brick-increased from $12 in 1937 to $27.41 in 1947, an increase of 128 percent.
Mr. BATES. What kind of red brick was that?
Mr. KEMP. Ordinary wire-cut brick burnt in the kiln; that is done at penal institutions, most of it. However, there is some brick we bought. Here is an amazing thing: Our bracing lumber, the price in 1937 was $34 a thousand, today it is $81 a thousand, an increase of 138 percent.
I just want to give you this information. I did not read you all the figures, but I will give you all the figures if you so desire.
Mr. BATEs. I think you ought to at this time, and then in tabulated form so they can be readily understood at this point in the record.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
10-inch terra cotta pipe.
69. 125 79.815 84. 134 81.324 81. 246 90. 969 123. 809 145. 454
Vitrified 2 by 12 bracing lumber 3 by 12 bracing lumber 6 by 6 bracing lumber.
do. -per 100 feet board measure.
61. 579 138. 235 91. 549 77. 469
Mr. KEMP. That is all I have at this time.
Mr. Bates. Now, you mentioned brick, and I presume this is waterstruck brick, is it, General, that they are talking about?
General YOUNG. Yes.
Mr. KEMP. It is wire-cut brick; they use a wire and cut it and put it into the oven.
I would like very much to have Mr. Xanten follow me and explain some of the problems of the city refuse, if you do not want to hear Mr. Johnson now.
Mr. Bates. Mr. Xanten, will you proceed, please?
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM A. XANTEN, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE
CITY REFUSE DIVISION, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. XANTEN. Mr. Chairman, I have here broken down by objects our comparative figures for '37 and '47, and I have shown here the percentage of increase in each object.
I want to read simply what the explanation is of the increases. The over-all increase over the years has been 112 percent.
Mr. BATEs. What department is that?
Mr. XANTEN. That division handles the solid wastes of the city and cleans the streets and alleys and collects the animals.
Mr. BATES. You call it sanitation ?
There are three important factors to be considered and emphasized in connection with money expended for sanitary services performed by the Refuse Division:
First, as indicated in the statement, 85 to 90 percent is expended for wages, and the appropriation as a whole is therefore critically affected by wage increases.
It is also to be noted that 80 percent of the forces employed are in the labor group, where the largest percentage of wage increases took place. In that connection, I want to suggest, Mr. Chairman, that you might have heard enough about wage increases, but we have made a very thorough study of the effect of the per diem side of these wage increases, and have here charts and statements showing the comparative purchasing power of a wage dollar ever since 1920 on the one hand, and 1930 on the other.
Mr. Bates. That is for materials and supplies?
Mr. XANTEX. It is a wage study, and it shows the effect of some of the things that do not show up necessarily in stating comparative wages.
We might say the comparative wage for labor was $3.60 in '37, and $6.32 in 47, but in that time there have been lots of other things that we consider nonproductive, and benefits to per diem employees that have caused the percentage of cost to go even higher.
For instance, you have heard of the abolition of apprentice labor, the apprentice Tabor group. That was an act of the Wage Board
which eliminated the possibility of employing labor at a lower rate for 1 year. Now, that happened in 1942.
Mr. BATEs. What was the reason that that was enacted; can you tell us that?
Mr. XANTEN. It was in line with the general upward trend for labor at that time, Mr. Chairman. The apprentice labor wage was very low, and we were putting men on at a very nominal rate for a period of 1 year. The position of the Wage Board was that it was simply too low a rate, and we began to reach a point where we could not get anybody to go to work at that rate.
Mr. BATEs. But you are still carrying on a so-called apprentice program?
Mr. XANTEN. We do not have any more apprentice laborers in the wage scale; we have laborers at a straight wage.
Senator Cain. So, regardless of knowledge of their labor before they come to your employment they start out —
Mr. XANTEN. As a laborer.
Mr. Bates. Is it the same rate that applies for new labor as it does for old experienced labor!
Mr. XANTEN. No; there is a graduated scale for those men and when they have been here 12 months they get a step-up in salary; that is another thing.
Mr. BATES. In other words, you have an apprentice system as far as wages are concerned; you have a graduated scale! Mr. XANTEN. Yes, sir. Senator Cain. Your apprentice merely starts where he used to stop.
Mr. XANTEN. That is right; but that is an item of cost that has not yet been and is very difficult to apply on a percentage basis.
Senator CAIN. Yes.
Mr. XANTEN. The same thing goes with the 10-percent night-wage differential. It is difficult to apply a percentage basis as to cost, but nevertheless we have to pay it.
In connection with this study that we have made, it might be interesting to point out that the number of man-hours that we have been able to purchase, say, any year you want to take—but taking 1920, on street cleaning alone we had about 950,000 man-hours of labor on the streets cleaning the streets; and in 1948 we have gotten up to, with the new estimate for 1948, we have gotten up to 819,000, so we are still 130,000 man-hours behind 1920.
Mr. Bates. That is in cleaning the streets; since 1920 we have had considerable progress in mechanized street-cleaning operations.
Mr. XANTEN. Unfortunately, Mr. Bates, that does not apply to Washington.
Mr. BATEs. You have not acquired the machinery?
Mr. XANTEN. Well, you cannot get a machine to go under an automobile, and there are 200,000 automobiles on the streets all night long, and the net result is that it is still primarily a labor job.
Mr. BATEs. That is because they have no way of apparently enforcing the parking regulations.
Mr. XANTEN. Correct, sir.
Mr. BATEs. Of course, even in New York you will see the street cleaners operating from midnight on all night along, but the streets are cleared of automobiles.
Mr. XANTEN. That is right, sir; we have that problem here.
Mr. BATEs. And I can well understand the mechanized system of street cleaning.
Mr. XANTEN. Let me say that we have made some improvements in the way we have done the work by using flushers.
Mr. BATES. That is right.
Mr. XANTEN. They are the backbone of the street-cleaning operations.
Senator Cain. You are using essentially the same method you pursued 25 or 30 years ago and your costs have gone up; in the number of man-hours that have performed duty they have gone down.
Mr. XANTEN. Exactly so, sir.
Senator Cain. Well, of course, today compared again with 1920, you did not have the automobiles then, and necessarily you did not have the maintenance, the high maintenance cost of the highways; you did not have the hundreds of miles of asphalt-surfaced streets that would be readily adaptable to flushing, let us say.
Mr. XANTEN. That is right, sir.
Senator Cain. So that you could cover a given area today with a flushing machine at much less cost than you did a good many years ago with hand labor.
Mr. XANTEN. Mr. Bates, you may take 1920 or 1935, and you find the same thing.
Senator Caix. But 1920 was your comparison.
Mr. XANTEN. As a matter of fact, you can see from this chart that we have prepared that the mileage of paved streets has gone up; the appropriation has gone up materially; in fact, it has more than doubled, but the purchasing power of the dollar for labor is not up to where it was in either one of those years. It is a very important consideration with respect to keeping a city sanitary. It costs so much today to maintain cleanliness that we just do the best we can.
Mr. Bates. How many flushing machines do you have in the District all together?
Mr. XANTEN. We operate about 10 on an average_8 at night and 2 during the daytime. We have more flushers than that, but they are all yery old and we do not use them. We hope to some day replace them, Mr. Bates. We should be operating about 20.
Mr. BATEs. Well, a good operator on a good flushing machine will keep the streets pretty clean, where there is a proper grade.
Mr. XANTEN. We do not dare run it into the sewer catch basins. Mr. BATEs. What do you do? ?
Mr. XANTEN. We cut it over to the curb, where the white wing cleans it up, because once it goes into the catch basin, then it is more expensive to remove.
Mr. BATES. Well, is it as expensive to get out as it is to clean up with a shovel ?
Mr. XANTEN. Yes; it is much more expensive to service a catch basin than to have a man clean it up with a shovel. That has been proved on a .cubic-yard cost basis, that the sewer is no place for refuse. Mr. BATEs. But the flushing of a street does it-I do not think that very much of your refuse stays
refuse stays in the catch basin. It flows off in the water basin. "Of course, sometimes you have got to come around and clean out the basin.
Mr. XANTEN. Mr. Bates, with the tremendous problems we have here, the number of leaves, it would very quickly clog up the basins if we attempted to run it into the basins.
Mr. Bates. That is right, if you run it at that time each year, but I am speaking of the principal streets.
Mr. XANTEN. In the outlying districts the flusher is an over-all cleaner, with due apologies to Mr. Johnson's Sewer Division, because he does not
Mr. KEMP. Mr. Bates, I would like to make the statement that all of our catch basins are trapped, and they are deliberately trapped to catch that kind of material, and it costs money to take it out of the traps.
Mr. BATEs. Do you not have a mechanical means of taking the material out of your catch basins now?
Mr. KEMP. No, sir. The only way we can get it is by labor with a long-handled shovel; the shovel is designed to scoop it out.
Mr. BATES. I know, but there has been a recent invention within the last 10 or 15 years for catch basin cleaning—a mechanical cleaner. Do you not operate that at all?
Mr. KEMP. Well, we have eductors that we can use on them to flush it out.
Mr. BATES. I see.
Mr. BATES. Oh, no; it is not necessary to go into detail. I am quite familiar with that. But they also have mechanical cleaners ?
Mr. KEMP. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATEs. That you can just put it down and, as you say, clean it out quickly instead of by long-handled shovels; that is pretty expensive work.
Mr. XANTEN. Mr. Bates, I will submit these statements to you, sir, that study if you care to have it.
Mr. BATES. Very well.
City-refuse personnel, 1937–47
1937 1938. 1939 1940 1941 1942
1,087, 350 1, 119, 330 1, 167, 341 1, 189, 301 1, 303, 098
1943. 1944 1945 1946. 1917
70 70 72 73 73
147, 714 161, 233 164, 002 198, 697 216, 400
1, 119 1, 156 1, 158 1, 206 1, 250
1, 673, 537 1, 852. 474 1.855, 796 2.021, 246 2. 403, 800
1 Includes street cleaning, refusc, dead animals.