The environment is often invoked in the context of growing municipal waste, a result of rapid growth and burgeoning consumption in urban India, in a manner that would appear to be class and caste neutral, as well as accommodating of the interests of labor. In actuality, waste policy and practice have been contoured in distinctly opposite directions to that dictated by a genuine concern for the environment. The article draws on primary qualitative research in a medium hill town, primarily key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and official documents, to substantiate its arguments. Key findings suggest that the benign platform of the environment disguises ever greater informalization of the formal, in newer and structurally more damaging ways, to both labor and the environment. Indeed, as hypothesized by Roy (2009), the waste sphere shows the idiom of India’s urbanization and planning itself to be one of informality, characterized by deregulation, ambivalence, opacity, and exemption. © 2021 SAGE Publications.