Mail that cannot be delivered by the post office is sent to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta. This department was previously known as the dead letter office. Undelivered perishable foods, catalogs, magazines and assorted junk mail are thrown away.
The Mail Recovery Center accepts undelivered items that do not reach their destination. These items include letters, books, cell phones, small parcels, eyeglasses, clothing of high value and lost-in-mail items valued at $25 or more.
A claim can be filed for lost items 21 days after the item was mailed. After a period of time, the post office auctions off unclaimed mail to the highest bidder.