My cat likes recycling, too.
When you have a strip cut, tug on it a bit and the t-shirt will curl, giving it the desired look.
When you are finished with the strips, make sure that they are cut evenly all the way around and that they are curled
After this, tie a knot in the top of all of the strips
When you have tied these knots, we move on to the next kind on knot tying
And for the finished product, I give you a redesigned shirt. The example I was going off of had a tighter pattern and cut off what was left. I used a loose pattern and the fringes on the end due to personal preference. As you can see, there are many versions of this shirt that you can do.