Bukit Timah Truss Bridge carries message of sustainability to welcome the new year

Bukit Timah Truss Bridge adorned with lanterns and flowers handcrafted by volunteers, on Feb 3, 2021.
Bukit Timah Truss Bridge adorned with lanterns and flowers handcrafted by volunteers, on Feb 3, 2021.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - It all started 2½ weeks ago, when a resident asked Ms Sim Ann, MP and adviser to Holland-Bukit Timah grassroots organisations, if there were going to be any Chinese New Year decorations in the neighbourhood.

Ms Sim had no such plan, nor a budget for it. But she took it as a challenge, and decided to try something new.

After brainstorming with volunteers, she decided to decorate the iconic Bukit Timah Truss Bridge using recycled and upcycled materials.

"It's a very good way of celebrating festivals in a way that is environmentally friendly and which brings home the message of sustainability," she said on Wednesday (Feb 3) when she was at the bridge.

About 100 residents, including volunteers from grassroots organisations, got together. In 10 days, they created about 500 flowers from recycled plastic bags and 100 lanterns from used bottles.

Among them was Ms Agnes Liga, 48, a volunteer from the Dunearn Neighbourhood Committee.

Ms Liga and her 15-year-old daughter used plastic straws to make ribbons and zip-lock bags - provided by some restaurants to hold face masks - to attach used hongbao to the lanterns.

Some lanterns even included hand-written messages or greetings from children in the community.

About 200 flowers and 60 to 70 lanterns were used to adorn the bridge on Tuesday, and the remaining decorations will be used at the neighbourhood community centre.


Plastic straws were used to make ribbons and zip-lock bags - provided by some restaurants to hold face masks - to attach used hongbao to the lanterns. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH


Lanterns and flowers were “upcycled” from materials such as used plastic bags and bottles. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Mr Christopher de Souza, another MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, who was also present, said the initiative showed how Singaporeans adapt to the current pandemic.

"This is quite possibly the start of different ways we celebrate our (festivals) during Covid-19," he said.