Why are custom terms saved many times in the terms table?

I have a custom taxonomy for use with a custom post type. The taxonomy and CPT were both created in code in a custom plugin. The taxonomy has maybe 10 terms in it, all entered via the WordPress admin interface. When I look in the wp_terms table in the database, there are around 3500 rows!!!

I have terms like: Buildings, Education, Transportation, etc. Instead of seeing these terms once in the terms table, I see: “Buildings, Buildings-1, Buildings-2 . . . “

What is causing all this duplication? I don’t want my database to continue filling up with useless repetitions.

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