This special e-issue of International Development Policy focuses on practices and policies that link sustainable food consumption with challenges in urban solid waste management in one of India's fastest growing metropoles, Bangalore. Home to the country's IT industry and to innovative forms of civic activism, the city hit the national and international media headlines in 2012 due to a dramatic breakdown of its garbage collection and disposal systems. Contributors to this issue draw on their empirical research in the city to explore the ongoing changes in patterns of domestic and restaurant food consumption among the middle classes, who are also actively involved in shaping public policy. Authors argue that the role of urban middle classes as consumers and as citizens is key to understanding urban environmental governance in India, which in turn offers lessons for the global South. The special issue ties together questions of food consumption patterns and of waste generation with problems of waste segregation and disposal, on the one hand, and with new forms of activism, mobilisation and citizen participation in policy making, on the other, in order to highlight social and institutional innovations towards more sustainable practices.